Asda workers continue protest against 'enforcement' of new contract
Asda workers were due to hand in a 23,000 strong petition to the company on Wednesday opposing a controversial new contract.
The signatures will be delivered to Asda's head office in Leeds in a shopping trolley as part of a campaign by the GMB union.
The union says Asda workers have been told to sign new contracts, called contract six, which it claims will see them lose paid breaks and forced to work bank holidays, or be sacked next month.
And the union says that members of the public have been joined by celebrities . Actor Paul McGann, who also starred in cult hit Withnail and I, as Dr Who and in Aliens 3, and Rob Delaney, who appeared in Catastrophe and Deadpool 2, have both given their support to Asda workers.
Gary Carter, GMB national officer said: "Tens of thousands of members of the public are backing our Asda workers in their fight against these draconian contracts.
"Contract six 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."
But Asda said the contract is about increasing the take-home pay of more than 100,000 employees through an investment of more than £80m and ensuring that everyone doing the same job is on the same terms and conditions.
A spokesman said: "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.
"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 Asda 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."