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80% of One Voice members back Saturday's Tesco locum boycott

Eight in 10 One Voice Pharmacy members support Saturday’s locum boycott of Tesco, the group has claimed.

A survey of “around” 200 pharmacists – out of an alleged membership of close to 4,000  – revealed that 80% support the two-week boycott over falling locum rates, said One Voice co-founder Salman Saeed.

Almost three-quarters of survey respondents also said they had declined – or were planning to decline – locum shifts at the supermarket, Mr Saeed told C+D last Friday (September 2).

The group is aiming to get “as many people as possible to fill in the survey” in the week leading up to the boycott, as well as afterwards, “so we can show how much support we have got”, he added.

It plans to put its survey results to Tesco “in the next couple of weeks”, Mr Saeed explained. “At the end of the boycott, we’ll produce a document trying to address these issues with Tesco again.”

Mr Saeed, who is a pharmacy manager at an independent in Greater Manchester, claimed he has seen an increase in requests for shift work at the supermarket during the boycott period, from September 10-24. “Even the rates are higher than usual to entice people,” he said.

But he stressed that locum rates are “just one aspect” of the group’s concerns about working at Tesco, which also include an alleged lack of support for locum staff and workplace pressures.

Mr Saeed said the group “hasn’t heard anything from Tesco yet, which is a shame really”. “The offer is always there to speak to them, but I think they’ve just swept it under the carpet,” he claimed.

“I don’t think they expected us to get this much support,” he added.

You can read Tesco’s response to C+D regarding One Voice Pharmacy’s allegations here.

Will you be taking part in the boycott on Saturday?

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