Asda is facing a backlash on staff pay after it was revealed that Sainsbury’s staff will be paid 70p more an hour under new contracts.
According to The Mail on Sunday, workers’ unions have held discussions with Asda’s staff over the pay disparities between the two supermarkets which in the midst of a £12 billion merger.
Sainsbury’s announced earlier this year that it would ramp up its hourly pay rate from £8 to £9.20 from September 2018.
Asda also announced new contracts last year, but this would only see Asda raise pay from the minimum wage of £7.83 to £8.50, and many staff are still waiting to be moved onto the new contracts.
Staff at Asda are also understood to receive lower pension contributions, and fewer holidays.
It is estimated that raising the pay to match that of Sainsbury’s would cost £100 million.
“Asda staff are well aware that Sainsbury’s employees are earning more, whether that is under the existing contracts or the new flexible contracts,” GMB national officer Gary Carter said.
“They will be looking for the company to adopt best practice and for wages to increase.
“This is very affordable. Both of these businesses are very profitable. If you want thriving local economies and good communities, you need to pay decent wages.”
An Asda spokesperson said: “In the event of the proposed merger, Asda and Sainsbury’s contracts will remain separate and distinct, just as the businesses will. We will always have any discussions about our colleagues’ pay with them first.”