Usdaw calls on CMA to listen to workers’ concerns over Asda and Sainsbury’s merger

Usdaw has called on the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to ensure the concerns of  staff are heard, as an extension to the investigation into the proposed merger of Asda and Sainsbury’s is confirmed.

The CMA, which has been probing the deal, has pushed back the date for a final decision to April 30. A statutory period for the investigation was originally due to expire on March 5, but the inquiry group looking into the case has now said there are “special” reasons to extend this.

Usdaw has expressed serious concerns about the CMA investigation making recommendations in relation to competition without fully considering the impact on jobs. Usdaw is calling for the role and function of the Competition and Markets Authority to be extended to include:

  • Consultation with trade unions regarding any proposed mergers or takeovers.
  • Permanent trade union representation on the CMA.
  • A full review of UK takeover laws to consider the impact on and interests of workers.

Usdaw general secretary said: “We hope that the investigation has been extended to help save jobs and keep stores open. We were alarmed by the initial recommendations of the CMA, which included the possibility of ordering the sale of 463 stores in the name of market competition. This would put tens of thousands of jobs at risk.

“If a merged Sainsbury’s and Asda business was forced to dispose of these stores, many sites could fail to find new buyers and local communities could lose one of their local supermarkets and be left with a boarded-up shop.

“Usdaw is calling for the CMA to fundamentally reconsider its initial conclusions. We are also calling for the remit of the investigation to be broadened so that the concerns of the workforce are listened to and the impact on jobs fully considered. If those are the reasons for the extended investigation, then we welcome it.”

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