Asda denies reports of 12,000 staff facing sack for not signing new contract

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12,000 Asda staff face sack if they don't sign new contract
// Asda has hit back at reports that 12,000 staff could lose their jobs amid in ongoing contract dispute
// Staff who have not yet signed the new contract are serving notice periods – but they can still change their minds
// Asda says the contract has already received the support of the “overwhelming majority” of staff

Asda has hit back at reports that suggest 12,000 Asda staff members could lose their jobs in the coming weeks after declining to sign new contracts.

It comes after Sky News reported that staff who do not sign the new contract by the November 3 deadline will allegedly be dismissed – unless the Big 4 grocer changes its position on the matter.

Staff who have not supported the new contract are reportedly serving a 12-week notice period, but they can still change their minds before the deadline so as to keep their jobs.

Asda told Retail Gazette that there is no evidence to support 12,000 figure and that they continue to speak to staff members who have chosen not to sign the new contract.

The grocer also insisted that more staff are signing the contract every day as a result of their ongoing consultation.


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The news comes a day after workers handed in 23,000-strong petition to the Big 4 grocer opposing the controversial new contract.

The signatures were delivered to Asda’s head office in Leeds in a shopping trolley as part of a campaign by the GMB union.

The union alleged that the new contracts, called Contract 6, will see staff lose paid breaks and forced to work bank holidays, or be sacked next month.

However, an Asda spokesperson said the contract has already received the support of the “overwhelming majority” of 100,000-plus staff that would be affected by it.

GMB national officer Gary Carter said: “Tens of thousands of members of the public are backing our Asda workers in their fight against these draconian contracts.

“Contract 6 is shocking, the changes are forcing our members to choose between looking after their families, or being able to support them. It’s a disgrace.

“Today we are back in the birthplace of Asda, once a proud, family company, calling on bosses to respect workers and offer them a better deal.”

Asda said Carter’s comments around Asda colleagues being sacked due to commitments outside work were not true.

The grocery giant also argued that 95 per cent of staff will be better off as a result of the updated contract, which was aimed at increasing the take-home pay of more than 100,000 employees through an investment of more than £80 million and ensuring that everyone doing the same job is on the same terms and conditions.

It added that there will be top-up payments until 2021 for those who do lose out, and that no one would be forced to work Christmas or bank holidays and these shifts would continue to be paid at double time for those who want to work on those days.

“The overwhelming majority of our colleagues from across all our stores 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,” an Asda spokesman said yesterday.

“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.”

The spokesman added: “This contract is an investment of more than £80 million and increases real pay for over 100,000 colleagues in return for a level of flexibility that ensures we are able to adapt to the demands of the highly competitive retail industry.

“We have consulted extensively with our colleagues, the GMB and our own national colleague representatives to discuss their concerns and to give reassurances that we will always help them to balance their responsibilities outside of work.

“As a result, the overwhelming majority of colleagues have signed to this contract.

“We understand that change is never easy, but we are determined that Asda remains a sustainable business for its customers and colleagues – now and in the future.”

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19 COMMENTS

  1. People ARE having to support the new contract, or they will lose their jobs in twelve weeks, but described as not being sacked. The pay DOES increase. It’s said shifts wouldn’t change too much.
    What no one mentions is that those working on self scan, sometimes just one person, normally two, handling some eighteen or so tills are paid the same as everyone else. The tills really need upgrading, constantly breaking down, & frequently needing running repairs, creating chaos. It’s a physically and emotionally demanding job as customers are often rude and not always able to scan everything they buy, intentionally or otherwise. Staff reaction to customer needs is sharply timed, despite the no. of tills being monitored. Staff, however are generally supportive of the company, which has only been forced to change by market stresses.
    Would ASDA and Sainsbury’s have been in a better position had they been allowed to merge?

    • I work there, not one member of staff supports the company, they are forcing us onto a new contract which will see us lose £1500-2000 a year in pay and benefits or face the sack on 3rd November. People are leaving left right and center. At Nottingham store the whole night team has left because on the new contract the night rate window is being cut from 10pm-6am to 12pm – 5am. It’s complete chaos.

  2. Same thing happened at my old school. Privately ran by Cambian. We were told exactly the same thing. Needless to say those who could including my self left. Head position was suck it up!

  3. Sainsburys did a very similar thing a year ago, shedding staff ready for the merger with Asda which all back-fired on them.
    They lost some good experienced staff.

  4. It wasn’t shedding staff ready for the merger it was cutting and merging managerial roles as they do every few years and increasing the ph rate etc
    Sainsbury’s new contract was more about making everyone be on the same rate of pay just like Asda’s is

  5. It’s a Sainsburys copycat. It was the same for Sainsbury’s staff in September 2018. It followed all the management massacre (redundancies) of June 2018. Probably related to the failed merger however any firm with paid breaks seems to be doing this.

    It still isn’t the same. So many good people were lost and far too much is expected of the department managers

  6. Asda, let’s get this straight. Just because colleagues are signing up, it doesn’t mean they support it. It just means they don’t want to lose their jobs.

    • FACT : Very few colleagues support the change over to the new contract the rest have simply have been bullied into signing up in fear they may lose their income .

  7. Fight ANYTHING that management tell you “will not affect your role or location”…Yes,for the next few weeks.ALWAYS vote down any management proposal that YOU havent asked for..This is corporate bullying.Since when,did ASDA work over Xmas?Fight management bullying anywhere.

  8. NEXT did it about 15 years ago and did anyone stop shopping there? Hint, the business is worth 9 billion. ASDA is owned by an american company and they binned it into a sub company about ten years ago because they knew then they wanted to sell it off. It is going to get a lot worse if a private equity firm buys it and loads it with debt… they will sell it off or put it into administration in 4 to 6 years and then Sainsburys will buy as many of the stores as possible, so it is still possible to see Sainsburys increase its market share and ASDA is not too big to fail.

  9. That’s strange a 100,000 already signed when the total number of affected colleagues totaled 68,000!! Another 55,000 members of staff who have joined the company in the last 3 years are being forcibly moved onto the new contract without any consultation and this hasn’t even been mentioned in the press! Also no one wanted to sign this new contract..it’s being forced through by bullying managers using the threat sign or be sacked.

  10. Asda’s Colleague handbook states that bank holidays (with the exception of Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day) is a normal working day and no premium will be paid. It looks like whoever responded to the above report told an outright lie! Colleagues who are rostered to work on a bank holiday day must work unless they use their holiday hours to book it off, this is now normal day rate.
    You just can’t trust this company who make changes to the contracts as and when it suits.

  11. It’s all about trying to force through Zero hour contracts. These big companies don’t want full time workers anymore. The less contract hours the less national insurance company will pay, the less holiday hours to pay and it brings down the company wage bill.

  12. But if ASDA continue to pay the current pay rates until it runs the business into the ground then everyone would be up in arms saying why didn’t you do something? I don’t know all the insincere and outs but Unpaid breaks, unsocial hours and bank holiday pay have already gone by the wayside in many other businesses – they aren’t asking anything that other companies are already imposing on their staff. The flexibility would concern me, who determines what is ‘reasonable’ and in the event your shift is changed in advance and you can’t make it what would happen then?!?
    Genuinely ASDA workers have my sympathy as no-one likes to lose benefits but it’s your choice – take the contract and keep your job or look for something else with terms and conditions that you are ok with ‍♀️

  13. I have just spent about an hour typing a considered reply with one finger on my smartphone, when U needed to GO SHOPPING, because I think this issue is so important. WHERE IS MY COMMENT?!

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