MASSES of Asda employees have found themselves in hot water as the supermarket looks to slash staff numbers in a bid to cut costs.
Britain’s third-largest supermarket chain has already begun speaking to 3,257 employees across 18 under-performing stores – singled out as ‘overstaffed’ in relation to their sales performance.
Of the 3,257 employees who are in consultations, hundreds will lose their jobs in a round of cuts.
The 18 branches bracing the brutal cuts include Halifax, in West Yorkshire, Broadstairs in Kent and the Basildon Eastgate store in Essex.
An extra 59 branches have also been engaged in “informal consultations”, but in relation to a change in working hours, the Guardian reports.
An Asda spokesman said: “We are currently in discussions with a number of our stores about changes that are needed to the number of hours required to run that store for our customers.
“It is common practice for a supermarket to need to make changes to hours based on the changing shopping habits of customers.
“We understand that any conversations about change are unsettling, but it is always our upmost priority to find alternative roles or working patterns for impacted colleagues.”
The GMB union reportedly said it had been contacted by worried Asda workers “fearing for their jobs” after new plans were announced at their local stores.
The plans are said to include a huge reduction in staff hours.
The dramatic downturn in staff hours comes days after Asda revealed its worst annual figures since being taken over by Walmart in 1999.
Its struggles were known, but numbers showed the full extent.
Unable to cope with fierce competition, the supermarket said its performance was “behind expectations” after pre-tax profit for 2016 fell 19 per cent to £791.7 million.
But Asda is not alone as Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Morrison’s are also going through severe changes to keep up with competition.
Fast growing discount chains Aldi and Lidl have put pressure on the chains to cut their costs and boost profits.