Sainsbury’s must ‘rule out compulsory redundancies’, Unite, the UK’s leading union, has demanded, following the announcement that store-based cafés, coffee bars and hot food closures will put 2,250 jobs at risk. 

The supermarket giant said it will close 192 coffee bars, seven cafés and 34 hot food and pizza counters in the spring, with a longer term intention to close all of its remaining cafés. 

An unspecified number of coffee bars and cafes will be taken over by third party providers, Unite, which represents around 9,000 Sainsbury’s staff, understands.

Sainsbury’s also announced that 54 in-store bakeries will change from making foodstuffs from scratch to baking produce premade elsewhere. 

Unite national officer for food, drink and agriculture, Bev Clarkson, said: “Our members showed great loyalty to Sainsbury’s during the pandemic. They served their communities during lockdown and ensured Sainsbury’s flourished when other businesses flatlined. 

“Now Sainsbury’s must repay them by keeping job losses to an absolute minimum and ruling out compulsory redundancies. Staff that transfer to new café operators must have their wages and terms and conditions protected. Those that want to stay with Sainsbury’s need to be provided with new roles in the company. 

“Unite is there to defend our members’ jobs, pay and conditions and that is exactly what we will be doing at Sainsbury’s.” 


For media enquires ONLY contact Unite communications officer Ryan Fletcher on 07849 090215.

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Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest union with members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Sharon Graham.