Tesco is pulling the plug on its Cardiff customer contact centre – which handles emails, social media and telephone enquiries – as part of the supermarket’s cost-cutting drive, putting 1,100 jobs at risk.
The retailer said that about 250 jobs will be created in the group’s Dundee call centre, and that workers from Cardiff will be offered work there but few are expected to move.
Tesco UK chief executive Matt Davies cited the “unprecedented challenges” the retail sector is facing, insisting Tesco “must ensure we run our business in a sustainable and cost-effective way, while meeting the changing needs of our customers”.
He added: “We realise this will have a significant effect on colleagues in the Cardiff area, and our priority now is to continue to do all we can to support them at this time.”
Nick Ireland, the divisional officer of Usdaw, the shopworkers’ trade union, said workers in Cardiff were “understandably shocked” by the announcement.
“This is clearly devastating news for our members and will have a wider impact on south Wales, as so many jobs are potentially lost to our local economy.
“We will now enter into consultation talks with the company over the coming weeks to look at the business case for the proposed closure. Our priorities are to keep as many members as possible in employment, whether that is with Tesco or other local employers, and to get the best possible deal for our members.”
Since group CEO tool charge in autumn 2014, the retail giant has axed nearly 5,000 head office and UK store management jobs as well as more than 4,000 roles overseas and at the group’s banking division. It also recently ditched its Orchard online customer data scheme, which encouraged Clubcard members to trial new ranges.
More than 2,500 jobs were lost with the closure of 48 underperforming Tesco stores, while in April 3,000 jobs were put at risk when the chain cut night shifts for shelf stackers in some of its biggest supermarkets.
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