Employees at Winn-Dixie stores were told Thursday of a company restructuring that will cost some full-time management staff their jobs.
At a Thursday meeting, managers were told department leads, considered second in command for a department, were having their positions cut. They were welcome to apply for other open full-time positions, but anyone who was not re-hired by May 31 would be given a four-week severance.
The news comes on the heels of the announced closing of the Winn-Dixie store at Pass and Cowan roads in Gulfport sometime in June.
Joe Caldwell, manager of corporate communications for Southeastern Growers LLC, the parent company of Winn-Dixie, confirmed the company is going through some changes in management structure.
“We’re going through a limited number of changes to certain roles and responsibilities in our stores,” he wrote in response to an emailed request for comment in from the Sun Herald. “We are working hard to improve and create an efficient and effective store experience for our customers and our teams.
“These changes are designed to allow us to provide additional hours in those stores to serve our customers better, and will be rolling-out over the next few weeks.”
Caldwell said the number of layoffs is difficult to tell at this point because the company hopes associates whose positions are being eliminated will be placed in new positions.
“From an associate placement perspective, it’s difficult to report an exact number at this stage, as we are optimistic that many of the associates, who have a change in their current role, will be placed into open positions over the coming weeks,” Caldwell wrote. “We’re working with our associates personally to ensure they’re taken care of, as each store and job is slightly different.”
Caldwell said the moves were made to “create an efficient and effective store experience for our customers” but he did not say what factors led to the decision.