JOBS at Morrisons supermarkets across East Lancashire are under threat, it has emerged.

Staff at branches in Blackburn, Great Harwood, Accrington, Nelson and Todmorden are being consulted over the proposed job cuts, the supermarket giant announced.

Although 2,600 staff will be axed nationwide, Morrisons said they plan to create 1,000 in its ‘M’ local convenience stores, and an additional 3,000 in new supermarkets.

A spokesman said: “Staff in East Lancashire will be potentially affected but it’s a consultation so it’s difficult to say with any certainty.

“We will be talking to people in all stores but I can’t give you a number because we are not there yet.”

Chief executive Dalton Philips wants to remove layers of management that currently mean some stores have seven tiers between the shop floor and the store manager.

He said: “This is the right time to modernise the way our stores are managed. These changes will improve our focus on customers and lead to simpler, smarter ways of working.

“We know that moving to the new management structure will mean uncertainty for our colleagues and we will be supporting them through the process.” The firm said the new store structure would merge department managers and supervisor positions into a single, smaller tier of team managers.

They also expect to promote 1,000 people into new duty manager, and to re-invest in customer facing jobs on the shop floor.

Joanne McGuinness, union Usdaw’s national officer representing Morrisons’ worker, said: “The next few weeks will be a worrying time for our members in Morrisons and we will do everything possible to support them.

“This marks the start of a 45-day consultation period, where we will look in detail at the company’s business case.”