General Secretary of the Barbados Workers Union Toni Moore has confirmed that her union is currently in negotiations with the management of JBs Supermarket following a decision by management to lay off 100 workers and close the Sargeant’s Village, Christ Church outlet.
However, while confirming that the two parties were engaged in talks in keeping with the Employment Rights Act, the union boss declined to comment on the status of the discussions, saying that there was nothing to report at this stage.
Last night Barbados TODAY reported that a significant number of Barbadians could soon be on the breadline as reports surfaced that the Massy Group of companies was planning to close the JBs supermarket which has been in operation for over 25 years.
The news report had stated that as recently as last week management of the Trinidad-based conglomerate, Massy Stores Supermarkets were in talks with officials of the BWU. However, it was not clear how soon the 100 workers would be parting company with the popular outlet.
The Massy Group currently employs approximately 3 500 people across its operations in Barbados and about 10 000 across its entire group. The chain of supermarkets which are dotted across Barbados, was rebranded to Massy Stores last year.
Meanwhile, a source familiar with the internal operations of Massy Stores contended that there were too many outlets in close proximity to each other catering to a limited market.
“There is a Massy outlet in Sky Mall, Haggatt Hall, St Michael. There is one at the bottom of Rendezvous Hill, Christ Church and there is another Massy outlet at Sargeant’s Village, Christ Church. In addition, soon there will be a massive Popular Discounts outlet at Kendal Hill, Christ Church which will also eat into the market share of the Massy stores. It makes economic sense to close one of its outlets,” said the source, who spoke to Barbados TODAY on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak for the company.