GMB steps up Contract 6 war of words with Asda
The GMB union is staging further Asda protests over a controversial new workers’ contract.
These will take place today at the grocery giant’s stores in Leeds, Glasgow, Nottingham, Walsall, Bolton, Brighton, Ellesmere Port, Great Yarmouth, Lowestoft, Norwich Stanley, Taunton and Manchester. Workers previously protested in Liverpool, London, Hull, Crewe, Dundee, Sheffield, Glasgow, Cwbran, South Shields, Sheffield, Stockport, Portsmouth, Livingston and Newcastle-under-Lyme
Asda is offering staff a higher wage in exchange for its Contract 6 that would introduce unpaid breaks and a requirement to work on bank holidays. But the GMB claims that staff will be sacked on 2nd November if they don’t agree to the new deal. And now they will not be paid for any sick leave until they do.
“Our members are angry. Workers who have given years or loyal service are being told ‘sign this brutal contract or get the sack in time for Christmas,” says Gary Carter, GMB National Officer. “By forcing people to sign this contract, Asda are making people choose between their families or their jobs. We’re calling on Asda to respect its workforce and offer dedicated, long-serving staff a better deal.”
“The retail sector is immensely competitive and it is important that we are able to serve our customers in the best way to meet their needs. This contract is about increasing the take home pay of more than 100,000 retail colleagues, through an investment of more than £80 million, and ensuring that everyone doing the same job is on the same terms and conditions,” an Asda spokesperson told RTIH.
“The overwhelming majority of our colleagues from across all our stores have signed onto the new contracts and while we appreciate that some of our colleagues find the changes more unsettling, we do not want any of them to leave. We understand colleagues have commitments outside of work and will not be asking them to constantly move the time they work, their days or departments.”