Welwyn Hatfield MP calls for better communication over Tesco job losses

PUBLISHED: 11:17 17 August 2017 | UPDATED: 11:17 17 August 2017

Welwyn Hatfield MP Grant Shapps

Welwyn Hatfield MP Grant Shapps

Archant

Welwyn Hatfield MP Grant Shapps has hit out at Tesco bosses over slow communication with local leaders.

In an email to the Welwyn Hatfield Times about the initial announcement of job losses, Mr Shapps said: “Whereas an MP might normally get some notice in order to be best prepared to assist constituents, on this occasion Tesco appeared to leave it quite late.

“Similarly I’m given to understand that the council didn’t have much notice.”

On June 28, Tesco announced the axing of 25 per cent of the workforce at its headquarters in Welwyn Garden City, in a move that has affected around 1,200 jobs.

As employees have been informed of their job status in the last couple of weeks, the company is meeting with Welwyn Hatfield’s councillors to discuss how to assist former workers going forward today.

Mr Shapps said: “A business like Tesco are perfectly within their rights to respond to changes in their business and at times that may mean reducing rather than increasing the workforce.

“Nonetheless, I would urge them to do a better job of working with and informing elected representatives like councillors and myself as the MP.

In response to the comments, a spokesperson for Tesco told the Welwyn Hatfield Times: “We always want to make sure that our colleagues are the first to know about any changes to the business.

“Following briefings with our colleagues on the day [of the job cuts announcement], we began contacting stakeholders, including local elected representatives, to make them aware of our plans and to offer a meeting.

“We meet regularly with elected representatives in the communities that we serve in order to keep them updated on our plans for the business and will continue to engage as we work through this important transition.”

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