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Co-op Group Food: Update on Consultation

Food Restructure
Update on Consultations

NACO would like to take this opportunity to update all members on progress so far.

Commercial
Farms- We remain concerned that the removal of a significant number of the senior leadership team could have a destabilising effect on the Farms business. The Group's proposals would see the number of overall roles in Product Development & Farms reduced in number from 107 to 81. We believe that restructuring Farms in this way could impact on the effectiveness of the business and the wider influence of the Co-operative Group as the UK's largest farmer.

Buying - We can assure all members in the Buying team that any reduction in staff numbers will be entirely from volunteers. This will be welcome news for many of our members, but we must also stress that only a small number of applications for Voluntary Redundancy will be granted.

To ensure we have an accurate understanding of the workplace environment in Commercial, NACO will shortly invite all members to complete a brief workplace survey to help us focus on specific areas of concern.

Finance
NACO is pleased with the open and positive consultations with the Finance leadership team during this exercise.

We have raised a number of challenges regarding the original proposals, with the result that a significant number of members have moved from possible ‘role deleted’ situations to being made part of a pool for available vacancies.

Supply Chain
Within Supply Chain NACO has challenged a number of the proposals, most notably in relation to Quality Control (QC).

Quality Control- Whilst we understand the need to reduce costs, NACO believes that Quality Control is critical in delivering the objectives of the Food business. We are concerned that a reduced QC function could result in an unfavourable effect on the standards of product available for the food stores.

IS
Following the recent announcements in IS, we continue to work with the business to ensure a strong, workable solution is achieved. To this end we have made specific challenges regarding analyst roles and will update members as soon as more information is available.

Central Operations
Call Centers- Feedback from NACO members has enabled us to put forward counter proposals in relation to the proposals for merging of the two call centers and we will continue to work closely with the business on this issue.

Loss Prevention - We have raised very real concerns at the proposed termination of the Loss Prevention team, both in relation to ongoing staff safety issues and the increased workload on operational management teams.

We have had constructive talks with the business and can confirm that nine additional Area Risk Manager (RB4U) roles reporting to the Group Risk Shared Services function will be created. The roles will be broken down regionally and advertised on the internal recruitment website until Friday 23rd March. Selection and assessment will initially be restricted to the redundant roles of Regional Loss Prevention Manager (RB3) & Loss Prevention Manager (RB4).
 
Whilst we are pleased at the developments, we will continue to challenge the business as to the number of roles being created. We believe that whilst the additional nine roles will certainly provide welcome additional support to the operations teams, it will still fall short of expected service levels.

Operational Teams
NACO remains concerned about workload and associated stresses experienced in the Operational Teams. We are acutely aware of the pressure on Operations Managers and Regional Operations Managers, especially with the recent restructure in HR and the loss of much of the Loss Prevention function. NACO intends to focus resources to ensure the concerns of Operational Teams are heard, and that communication continues in order to monitor the situation, and take action as appropriate.

Your Views
NACO would like to thank members for submitting feedback so far. With the anonymous information and views expressed we have been able to build strong challenges to take to the business.

As our consultations with the Co-operative Group continue will would like to invite all members to submit thoughts, views and feedback using the link below.
 

submit feedback

Please feel free to contact the NACO National Office for advice should you need it.