Tesco has had a good crisis, with the lockdown triggering a supermarket spending spree akin to Christmas.
The strong sales have been good news for shareholders. The grocer is paying out a £635m final dividend, despite accepting a business rates holiday worth £585m from the government.
Departing chief executive Dave Lewis is going out on a high with his £6.4m pay packet for last year,
But not good news for hundreds of contract cleaners. Despite working through lockdown, they are now losing their jobs after the retailer decided to transfer their work, including washing windows and floors, to store staff who are being asked to work extra hours to cover cleaning duties. The cleaning contract was split among a handful of contract cleaning companies, and several hundred workers are now facing redundancy.
“It’s so upsetting to be made redundant now at a time when lots of other people are losing their jobs too and my chances of getting another job are not good. It’s an insult. We were forced to contribute and take risks, and to go the extra mile. And this is a very poor response."
From 24 August staff working in 1,920 Tesco Metro and Express supermarkets will have to clean their stores, including break rooms and toilets. While some Tesco staff will welcome the opportunity to work more hours, others, who responded to a survey on employee campaigning platform Organise , are far less keen.
"I can tell you for a fact we will not be given the time needed to properly clean the shop, so what is there to be proud of? It shows that Tesco only values profit; with no interest in staff wellbeing or morale.”