Up to 870 jobs at Sainsbury’s are at risk, the Unite union has said, after the supermarket announced changes to management roles at its major stores.
Sainsbury’s said it would be replacing its 870 store trainers with 280 new learning and development managers.
The retailer said those affected would be able to apply for the more senior roles and it would look to redeploy staff where it could.
Unite expressed “severe disappointment” at the re-organisation.
Julia Long, from Unite, said: “We appreciate that Sainsbury’s has a good record of redeployment of staff in these situations and we will be exploring every avenue to ensure continuing employment for our members.
“We are now entering the 45-day consultation period and will be having meetings with management.”
The new managers will cover several stores, as opposed to just one.
Sainsbury’s said it was also consulting about replacing night shifts with early-morning and evening shifts in some stores as part of an effort to improve customer service.
A spokesmen for the supermarket said: “All colleagues who currently work on the night shift are being offered a number of redeployment options.”
The changes are part of a rolling programme announced in November 2014 to save £500m over three years.
Similar re-structuring has also taken place at rivals Morrisons, Asda and Tesco as the big four supermarkets adapt to strong price competition from German discounters.
Sainsbury’s is in the process of buying Home Retail Group, which owns Argos, for £1.4bn.