A leading trade union representative has described the planned store reorganisation strategy at Dutch retailer Jumbo as "ridiculous", according to reports, suggesting that job or wage cuts are likely to be part of its plans.
FNV director Mari Martens was commenting after Jumbo announced details of its planned new operating model, with which it said it is 'responding to current and future customer needs'.
The retailer has pledged that 'no jobs will disappear' as part of the restructuring, however it said that a number of roles will change, while other positions will be discontinued, with existing staff on a permanent contract given priority when applying for a new position.
Jumbo said that it has been working on adjustments to its store operating model since 2018, and has involved employee representative groups in this process.
'We are organising the new store organisation in such a way that every employee is even better able to exceed customer needs,' it said in a statement. 'The core idea is that we want to empower all colleagues in the store, so that they can feel and propagate the Jumbo DNA with pride and passion.'
The new structure is set to enter into practice from September of this year.
FNV said that the reorganisation is taking place at a time in which there is not yet a new collective labour agreement for supermarket employees at the group, with the previous agreement running out last June.
The union also added that Jumbo is coming off the back of a successful year, making this a "crazy time" for the retailer to reorganise, the FNV's Margje van der Woude told RTL News.
Elsewhere, FNV director Mari Martens encouraged Jumbo staff not to accept a lower salary, if offered.
"Too ridiculous for words," he was quoted as saying by Omroep Brabant. "This is just a disguised cut."
In January, Jumbo said that it posted a 15% increase in consumer turnover in full year 2020, to €9.68 billion.
© 2021 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Stephen Wynne-Jones. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine.