Morrisons, the UK’s fourth largest supermarket, with over 120,000 workers, is cutting sick pay for those who need to self-isolate if they have not been vaccinated.
Despite Morrisons saying they will make exceptions, the announcement has sparked outrage — particularly because the chain’s chief executive has been open about their cost-cutting motivation.
Justifying the cut, chief executive David Potts cited the “biblical costs of managing Covid” and other increased costs facing the company.
Morrisons’ profits have fallen, but they were still £105 million in the six months to 1 August. It is due to be sold next month for at least £7 billion.
The main shop workers’ union, USDAW, seems not to have commented. Unite, which organises among Morrisons’ warehouse and distribution workers, has rightly urged people to get vaccinated but opposed bosses being able to dictate, while emphasising that workers need economic support for self-isolation.
Seeking to increase the powers of management so they can shore up profits, this cut may actually undermine safety, if workers who cannot or are determined not to get vaccinated feel unable to isolate due to lack of support.