// Asda workers trade union GMB to hold protest outside Asda House in Leeds over “unacceptable” contract
// Asda’s management team have been called out for using “bullying tactics along with threats” towards Asda colleagues
// GMB revealed in a recent study that 93% of its members within Asda opposed the new contract
Trade union for Asda workers GMB has revealed it will be holding a protest today at noon outside Asda House in Leeds to make the grocer understand that its imposed retail poverty contract “is unacceptable”.
“Asda need to understand the value of their dedicated workforce who have for many years grown Asda to be a multi billion pound profitable business,” GMB London said.
Asda said a majority of its colleagues have signed up to the new contract, which will provide a pay increase for more than 100,000 retail workers.
It will increase the base rate of pay to £9 per hour, plus premiums (e.g. location weighting, bakery rate) and maintain existing benefits including the annual bonus, share save scheme and colleague discount.
The contract also represents an investment of more than £80 million – which Asda said is not a cost-cutting exercise.
Meanwhile, GMB revealed in a recent study that 93 per cent of its members within Asda opposed the new contract.
Asda’s management team have been called out for using “bullying tactics along with threats” towards Asda colleagues in recent weeks in an attempt to force them onto this new contract.
GMB regional organiser Keith Dixon said: “GMB feel the company’s contract would result in a devastating impact upon the work life balance, security and income for our GMB Members within Asda.
“There is also a report of a manager who was locked within an office and chastised for allowing members on their department to not sign the contract.
“It is despicable that a company the size of Asda would treat their colleagues in such a way.
“It is time that Asda realises that they have lost the respect and support of their workforce and agrees to meet with GMB to negotiate better terms on behalf of the members,” he said.
“GMB London Region have coaches from Hendon, Luton, Cambridge and Tilbury attending today and will be part of nearly a thousand strong turnout for the demonstration in Leeds
“Leeds City Council have already reported that they expect major traffic disruption for the day due to the march.
“The demonstration will be addressed by Leeds East MP and Shadow Justice Secretary Richard Burgon before marching down to Asda Head Office.”
An Asda spokesperson told Retail Gazette: “The retail sector is undergoing significant change and it is important that we are able to keep pace with these changes.
“The overwhelming majority of our colleagues have signed onto the new contracts and while we appreciate that some of our colleagues find the changes more unsettling, we do not want any of them to leave.
“We have been clear that we understand colleagues have commitments outside of work and will not be asking them to constantly move the time they work, their days or departments. Any changes will be with at least four weeks’ notice.
This contract is about increasing the take-home pay of more than 100,000 retail colleagues, through an investment of more than £80 million, and ensuring that everyone doing the same job is on the same terms and conditions.”