Asda to be a “minimum wage employer”

Trade union GMB has claimed that Asda would effectively become a “minimum wage employer” if it didn’t increase its pay offer.

Union bosses have written to the Issa brothers, Asda’s billionaire co-owners, accusing the supermarket of allowing 120,000 staff members to be paid minimum wage.

The union also warned that shop floor workers held a “significant appetite” for industrial action.

READ MORE: Asda is “most complained about” supermarket in the UK

This comes as Asda offered a 7.35% pay rise across two years, meaning in April 2022 shop floor colleagues would receive a 3.25% pay rise to £9.66 an hour.

London colleagues will receive £10.83 an hour, and all employees will receive a bonus.

In turn, GMB has claimed the retailer has “imposed” a “below-inflation” pay increase as ONS figures revealed inflation currently sits at 5.5%.

The Bank of England has estimated the inflation rate will peak in April surpassing 7%, while other economists have forecasted a CPI of 8%.

However, Asda has denied it has “forced” its staff to accept a below-inflation pay rise and has also denied that workers have resorted to food banks.

Currently, Aldi, Lidl Morrisons and Sainsbury’s all pay their staff £10 or more an hour.

Last week, Marks and Spencer announced it would also increase pay by 50p to £10 an hour nationwide with London colleagues receiving £11.25 an hour.

“Asda won’t allow GMB to negotiate pay for our thousands of retail members. Still, it’s hard to understand why they’re happy to be the worst-paying supermarket,” GMB national officer Nadine Houghton said.

“It’s also hard to accept they don’t want to protect their low-paid workers against the biggest cost of living crisis in 30 years after Asda relied on them during the pandemic.”

Houghton added: “Based on Low Pay Commission estimates, this pay cut will make Asda a minimum wage employer next year. That’s not good for Asda and it’s certainly not good for our members.”

Grocery Gazette has contacted Asda for comment.

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