Asda workers ‘ready to walk out’ over pay

Strike action at Asda “moved closer” this week after thousands of workers said they were ready to walk out over the supermarket’s failure to make an acceptable pay offer, according to trade union GMB.

The organisation’s representatives now plan to meet after the next pay talks to agree the subsequent 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 strike action.

GMB said that the dispute sparked after Asda failed to offer distribution staff a meaningful pay offer - with inflation running at a ten-year high.

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

GMB is currently 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 as people employed in the company’s distribution centres.

“This immense vote in favour of industrial action shows the bubbling anger and resentment among the workers,” said Nadine Houghton, GMB national officer. “They know what they are worth and they feel Asda is trying to take them for mugs.

“Asda workers are risking their lives as this pandemic rages on – our members in the depots lost colleagues to this disease. 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.
“It’s repugnant corporate behaviour; and workers are ready to strike.”

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