the Disillusioned kid: Making Life Taste Bitter
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Sunday, July 04, 2004

Making Life Taste Bitter

This week saw Sainsbury's chairman Sir Peter Davis forced from his position by shareholders. This seems to have been a response to the award of £2.5 million of free shares to a man whose strategies to reinvigorate the supermarket chain have clearly failed. This received extensive coverage in the business sections, but one element seemed to be missing from the coverage: where were the workers?

On Davis' watch the company introduced new RGS (Rewarding Good Service) contracts and a pay freeze for those who didn't take them, much to the chagrin of the workforce, leading some to take to the streets and many to consider quitting. I have firsthand knowledge of this, having had the misfortune to work for Sainsbury's and can vouch for the levels of anger amongst the workforce. I must confess, I was pleased to see Davis tossed out on his ear and sincerely hope that the "possible amendments" hinted for his award are carried through and amount to something credible. That said, nothing I have read on the issue or on the plans of new chief executive Justin King gives me much hope that the situation for the workforce is likely to improve anytime soon. Plus ca change.

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