Asda’s supply chain threatens strike over ‘disgraceful’ pay rise

Supermarkets

Asda is facing the risk of strike action ahead of the festive shopping period, over a “disgraceful” pay rise, just days after 6200 Tesco workers announced industrial action over a four per cent pay rise, which was rejected.

Trade union GMB said it would call for a strike ballot which closes on December 20 over what it said is the Big 4 grocer’s refusal to give distribution workers a “meaningful pay offer”.

“Asda workers turned up throughout the Covid pandemic risking their lives to keep the nation fed – as well as helping the company turn a profit of almost £500 million,” GMB national officer Nadine Houghton said.

“Staff who saw colleagues lose their lives to Covid are not having their legitimate demands for a pay rise treated seriously.

READ MORE: Tesco sees highest jump in market share since 2007

“Asda now say GMB members’ pay claim is ‘unaffordable’ and yet their hard work and sacrifice helped directors trouser almost £10 million between them.

“It’s a disgrace – we urge Asda workers to fight for what they deserve and vote yes for a ballot for industrial action.”

An Asda spokesperson added: “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 prospect of a strike action at Asda comes days after trade unions announced that industrial action would go ahead at 14 Tesco depots.

Usdaw revealed that members had rejected a four per cent pay rise, and will join Unite workers striking later this month.

Tesco, which accounts for 27.7 per cent of the grocer market, has insisted the wage increase was “fair and competitive”.

However, at two per cent below the retail price inflation rate, Unite claimed it was a “real terms pay cut”.

On Monday, Tesco said: “The pay offer we have made is a fair recognition of this, and is one of the highest awards made within our distribution business in the last 25 years, building on our highly competitive pay and rewards package.

It added: “We have worked hard to deliver Christmas for our customers and are confident we will be able to fulfil our plans.”

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