Asda has cut the hourly rates of pay for 1,500 of its delivery drivers as it scraps the £1.50-an-hour premium launched during the summer.
Originally rolling out the temporary premium in a recruitment drive to find drivers to deliver groceries to customers homes across three of its London stores and via outlets in Bristol and the south coast, Asda has since said the trial has not been “delivering desired results.”
Despite the premium having been promised until Christmas, this is now set to be scrapped on 21 October.
“Asda’s attempt to address its driver shortage was a sticking plaster that was never going to work. Asda needs to address the fundamental issue: driver pay is much lower than other retailers – as is their shop-floor pay,” GMB union national officer, Nadine Houghton said.
“A temporary or one-off payment was never going to go far enough and entice drivers at a time when they are in high demand. Drivers need to be paid competitive rates for the job or they will continue to find work elsewhere.”
A spokesperson for Asda said: “In July, we began a trial in a small number of stores to pay a discretionary supplement to delivery drivers in order to assess what impact this has on colleague recruitment and retention.
“This trial was scheduled to end in December, but will finish at the end of this month, because it has not delivered the desired results. We have spoken to all colleagues impacted by this change.”
The trade union has also called on the Big 4 grocer to increase its base rate of shop floor pay to £10.50 per hour, up from the current £10.10 that it offers. This comes following GMB’s survey which found of 3,200 Asda workers, half are worried about being able to afford Christmas dinner this year.
In a bid to help workers amid the cost-of-living crisis, Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Aldi have all recently increased their rates of pay which now sees Aldi paying its staff £10.50 an hour, Tesco £10.30 and Sainsbury’s £10.20.