Tesco (Livingston Distribution Centre)

– in the Scottish Parliament on 10 February 2021.

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Photo of Neil Findlay Neil Findlay Labour

This week, Tesco is paying a £5 billion dividend to shareholders while cutting between £3,000 and £13,000 a year from key workers at its Livingston distribution centre and four other locations. Does the First Minister agree that that sickening corporate greed exemplifies everything that is wrong with unregulated free-market capitalism? Will she join me in calling on Tesco to withdraw its despicable fire-and-rehire threat?

Photo of Nicola Sturgeon Nicola Sturgeon Scottish National Party

I would call on any employer to treat their staff fairly at all times, but particularly given the difficult circumstances that everybody is living and working in right now. I am not responsible for what Tesco decides to do in terms of dividend payments to shareholders or indeed its hiring practices, but I have no hesitation in saying that any employer that is treating workers unfairly or in a way that is against the principles of fair work should be asked to think again, and I am happy to do that.

Of course, we would have more ability to regulate some of those things in this Parliament if the powers did not lie at Westminster, but instead lay here in this Parliament. I know that Neil Findlay will not be standing again at the election but, notwithstanding that, I hope that he can be an advocate in favour of that in the future.