Asda supply staff threaten strike ballot in support of pay claim

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
Staff supplying Asda stores look set to strike over a pay dispute.

The GMB Union said thousands of workers said they were ready to walk out over the company’s failure to make an acceptable pay offer.

But Asda bosses said talk of strikes was premature as negotiations were set to continue in January.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

GMB representatives said they will meet to agree the next steps in moving to a formal strike ballot after 94 per cent per cent of warehouse, clerical workers and LGV drivers voted in favour of a ballot for strike action.

ASDA staff are to ballot for industrial actionASDA staff are to ballot for industrial action
ASDA staff are to ballot for industrial action

It said the dispute sparked after the supermarket giant failed to offer distribution staff a meaningful pay offer - with inflation running at a ten-year high.

In 2020 Asda’s directors trousered £12.6m in pay and share based payments, while the company turned an operating profit of £486m in the year to 31 December 2020.

GMB is also engaged in a long-running battle on the issue of equal pay for 40,000 predominantly women shopfloor workers in Asda, who the union believes do not get the same money for the same value work.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

An Asda spokeman said: “The GMB has recently made an additional pay claim on top of a two-year deal which was agreed with them in May. As our annual pay negotiations have just begun and discussions are ongoing, any talk of industrial action is premature.

"In addition, we have responded to the driver shortage by offering all of our existing HGV drivers a £1000 one-off discretionary incentive retention payment.”

The GMB this week wrote to Asda asking if it is holding back distribution workers' pay because of potential future liabilities in a long-running equal pay claim.

The Asda spokesman said: "The GMB pay claim is unrelated to the ongoing Equal Value Litigation. Asda continue to defend the equal value claims because the pay in our stores and distribution centres is the same for colleagues doing the same jobs regardless of their gender.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"Retail and distribution are very different sectors with their own distinct skill sets and pay rates. Asda has always paid colleagues the market rate in these sectors and we remain confident in our case.”

Nadine Houghton, GMB National Officer, said: “This immense vote in favour of industrial action shows the bubbling anger and resentment among the workers.

“They know what they are worth and they feel Asda is trying to take them for mugs.

“They have kept this nation fed throughout every lockdown, turning up for work day in day out.

"All they are now asking for is a fair slice of the pandemic profit pie which Asda directors have benefited hugely from, money our hard working members created for the company."

Related topics: