T&G national organiser for food and agriculture Brian Revell said many of the staff at the centre were long-time employees for Sainsbury's and were concerned that their pensions provisions would be affected by the deal. All of the staff at the centre have been told that they will have to renegotiate their contracts with Exel.
He said: 'Whatever Sainsbury's or Exel say, it looks very much as if this is an agenda for cuts. The T&G will support its members in opposing this management plan that will have a major negative impact on people's lives.'
Sainsbury's confirmed that there would be no compulsory redundancies because of the deal and that all employees that wished to transfer to Exel would do so in line with TUPE regulations.
A spokeswoman for the retailer confirmed that effieciencies were the main reason for the transfer, including cuts in operating costs.
She said: 'Exell has its own pension scheme which employees can join but all previous contributions will be protected.'