// Asda workers protest outside stores to challenge new contract
// GMB Union said workers would be dismissed on November 2 if they did not sign the contract
// The contract would allegedly scrap paid breaks & workers would have to work bank holidays
Asda workers have staged protests at stores across the UK against a new “flexible” contract.
The trade union for Asda workers, GMB, said members would face the sack on November 2 if they did not sign what they called a “punitive” contract.
The union said the contract would mean around 3000 shop-floor staff would have pay for their breaks removed and would be forced to work on bank holidays.
However, the Big 4 grocer said the overwhelming majority of its staff had already signed the contract.
On Monday, 12 Asda stores from Brighton to Glasgow saw protests as the GMB called on the grocer to offer staff a fair deal.
GMB regional organiser Giovanna Holt told The Guardian that the contracts were an “absolute disgrace”.
“People can’t work like that. People have young children, elderly parents, disabled relatives they need to look after,” she told the newspaper.
“You cannot just drop people at four weeks’ notice and expect people to change their lives round.
“This is a good loyal workforce who thought they were part of a family and to treat people like that is just appalling.
“This is now a minimum wage employer with minimum benefits. And this is a wealthy, wealthy company.
“It’s an American culture. Everything they do gets reported back into America and their culture is being imposed on the company here. It just doesn’t work.”
Meanwhile, an Asda spokeswoman told The Guardian that the contract was about “increasing the take-home pay of more than 100,000 retail colleagues”.
She said: “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.”