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Job concerns amid plan by Sainsbury's to close phone shops inside stores

Supermarket giant Sainsbury's is to close a number of phone shops inside its stores in a move which union officials said will hit 160 jobs.

A total of 22 shops will close and a further 16 will be sold to EE with 106 staff transferred, while 15 employees at a central telecoms base at Ansty Park, near Coventry, will be put at risk of redundancy, said Usdaw.

National officer Joanne McGuinness said: "Since the company closed their Mobile by Sainsbury's service in January 2016, we and the staff were aware that they were looking at options and that review has resulted in a new partnership with EE.

"We will now enter into consultation talks with Sainsbury's where we will be looking at the business case for this proposal. Our priorities are to keep as many staff as possible employed within the business, seek suitable redeployment opportunities where necessary and avoid redundancies.

"Usdaw is also seeking early discussions with EE to ensure that the transfer goes ahead smoothly and that our members do not suffer any detriment in pay, terms and conditions or access to trade union representation."

A Sainsbury's statement said: " Our business is going through a significant period of change and growth, most notably with the recent acquisition of HRG.

"While a number of Argos outlets have been relocated within our stores, we've also carried out a commercial review of the other in-store services we provide.

"Following this review, we have now agreed a commercial partnership with EE who will take over a number of Phone Shop by Sainsbury's.

"Some Phone Shops will be closing. We are now consulting with all affected colleagues and will look to redeploy them where possible."

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