Safeway set to wield the axe on jobs

Safeway is poised to announce wide-ranging job cuts, with the axe falling most heavily on head office.

Shopworkers’ union USDAW is scheduled to meet Safeway personnel director Will Jackson at the end of this month to discuss the job reductions. The union understands that Jackson will have a set of proposals for job cuts, and substantial redundancies are expected at head office.

The job cuts come as Safeway implements the recommendations of management consultants McKinsey in the Safeway 2000 review.

Safeway confirms all divisions are under review but says “nothing has been decided”. A spokeswoman adds that the jobs rethink will mirror what happened to the buying and marketing departments.

Up to six jobs were axed from marketing and buying before Christmas. But Safeway is recruiting to fill three newly- created positions – a brands marketing director, a productmarketing director and an electronic relationship marketing controller (MW last week).

“We are reviewing various divisions to ensure we have the right structure, but that does not mean there will be enormous job cuts,” says the spokeswoman. “We operate a much tighter ship than Sainsbury’s and Tesco [so there is less scope to cut].”

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