Under the retailer’s plans, the affected workers will reportedly be required to pay increased pension contributions, lose four days holiday a year and receive a lower level of death in service.
The union estimated that under the new contracts, employees will lose between £1,600 – £3,600 a year.
The consultation period is reportedly due to end this month with the affected staff informed that colleagues who “choose not to accept the new T&Cs” would be served with “termination of employment” notices.
Matt Draper, national officer, Unite, said: “Sainsbury is brutally forcing through the fire and rehire of longstanding Argos staff. These are extremely profitable companies and the slashing of wages and conditions is all about greed and not need.
“The company is clearly taking advantage of the fact that Unite is not recognised for this group of workers to force through these changes.Sainsbury’s needs to pause its proposals and treat its workers fairly and decently and cancel its plans to fire and rehire them.”
A Sainsbury’s spokesperson added that the group wanted its terms and conditions “to be fair, consistent and competitive for everyone”.
The group reiterated that they are currently speaking to colleagues about what this means for them with the majority having already signed the new contract.
The spokesperson said: “To ensure everyone has time to reflect on what the updates mean for them we are giving colleagues six months’ notice and providing financial support for 18 further pay packets – a period we increased in consultation with our colleagues.”