John Lewis boss Sharon White is facing the threat of workers going on strike over fears of mass job losses.
Staff have called for reassurance that jobs at the partnership, which owns John Lewis department stores and Waitrose, will be safe.
There have been reports that the John Lewis Partnership (JLP) plans to slash as many as 11,000 jobs. It is looking at cutting its 76,000 strong workforce by at least 10 per cent.
In a letter to White, the GMB union said it could ballot workers to walk out if White did not urgently meet with them. Around 250 JLP staff are members of the union.
The union’s national officer Nadine Houghton wrote: ‘If workers do not get the answers they feel they deserve, they will not hesitate to request GMB begins a ballot of workers.’
A bad sign: Staff have called for reassurance that jobs at the partnership, which owns John Lewis department stores and Waitrose, will be safe
A spokesman for JLP said last night that the letter had been received and they would reply ‘in due course’.
The letter states that workers are ‘deeply concerned’ a recent reduction in redundancy pay amounted to ‘the first step in a large round of job cuts’.
According to the GMB, this move was made with ‘little to no consultation’ with the employee body, known as the JLP Partnership Council.
An elected sub committee of the council made the decision, it is understood.
John Lewis Partnership has struggled for several years.
Last month White told employees there would be ‘quite bold changes’ as the business looks to return to profit this year.