Asda advised to ‘come clean’ & ‘disclose’ reasons for lack of pay rises

Asda has been urged by trade union GMB to “come clean” and “disclose” if it is holding back pay rises for its staff members because of potential future liabilities in a long-running equal pay claim.

The trade union has begun balloting warehouse workers and drivers over potential industrial action after the company failed to make a meaningful pay offer.

GMB is currently engaged with the Big 4 grocer to secure equal pay for 40,000 predominantly female shopfloor workers in Asda, who the union say “do not get the same money for the same value work as people employed in the company’s distribution centres.”

However, the grocer is yet to reply to the unions’ questions on whether the equal pay court case is being used as an excuse for the failure to properly fund the workers’ pay claim.

The news comes as strike action was temporarily suspended at 9 distribution sites ahead of the festive period subject to members voting on improved pay offers.

According to the trade union, it has secured a “new and much improved pay offer”, which 5,000 of its members have agreed with.

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

The move comes after Usdaw members threatened to walk out from 20 December until Christmas Eve, after rejecting a 4% pay increase for staff.

However, members agreed to a 5.5% increase, which will go up to six per cent in February, after rejecting the 4% deal.

“We’ve written to Asda bosses for clarity; do the new owners have any liabilities in relation to the equal pay claim and if so, have any board-level decisions been made to limit distribution workers’ pay?” GMB national officer Nadine Houghton said.

“We know the previous owners, Walmart, has pledged more than £600 million for ‘certain indemnities’ – but what exactly does that cover?”

Houghton added: “Have the new bosses made any promises to Walmart over limiting future liabilities in the equal pay case?

“Our thousands of Asda distribution members – who risked their lives through the pandemic – deserve to know the truth.”

Grocery Gazette has contacted Asda for comment.

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1 Comment. Leave new

  • Allison Archer
    December 18, 2021 8:31 pm

    How many store workers risked their lives, coming into contact with thousands more people a week than the depot workers did during the pandemic? And they got 16p and hour payrise, with no collective bargaining. Its pathetic to think we all work for the same company, yet the disparity is so large.

    Reply

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