Sainsbury’s tells staff to take overtime or unpaid leave for Christmas party

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Sainsbury’s staff who are about to be laid off were told they need to either work overtime or take unpaid leave for the shop's final ever Christmas party.

Workers at the Etruria Road supermarket in Hanley, Stoke found out about the 'Scrooge-like' decision this month when they were handed flyers advertising two Christmas parties — one running from midday to 1pm, and the other from 1.15pm to 2.15pm on 1 December.

The store is set to close in 2022 as part of cutbacks by the UK's second-largest supermarket chain.

The offending Christmas flyer, which has since been leaked to the public, reads: "The sittings are an hour long. Whatever time you use over your break you will need to either makeup or have as unpaid. Please inform us of your decision."

Axed colleagues and avid shoppers have joined forces to slam the supermarket giant's 'humbug' stance.

One former employee said to StokeOnTrent Live: "This is a pretty shabby way to treat people who are about to lose their jobs."

Businesswoman Lynn Shemirani said: “It’s a bit harsh. It’s going back to Scrooge with that sort of behaviour.

“At Christmas time they should show a bit of goodwill, especially after working through the pandemic as front-line workers.”

What do you think of the rules before the change? Let us know in the comments below!

Meanwhile, retired John Hannon added: "It’s ridiculous. The staff are pretty decent in here and they’ve been loyal to the company. I think the company ought to show them a bit of loyalty.”

Chloe Edwards thought the treatment was not only un-Christmassy but dehumanising, declaring: “It’s just not fair. You’re a number – not a person.”

A spokesperson for Sainsbury's told The Sun: "We have listened to our colleagues’ feedback and will be updating the plans at our Hanley store to ensure all colleagues can enjoy their Christmas celebrations during their break."

The supermarket giant was also under fire last year when it made pandemic-exhausted staff members work on Boxing Day.

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