Thousands of Asda workers vote in favour of strike action in pay ballot
95% of those who voted said they were willing to take industrial action over a real terms pay cut
10 May 2022 | 0
Thousands of Asda workers have indicated they are ready to take strike action in a consultative vote.
GMB balloted its 8,000 GMB members working in driver, warehouse and clerical roles – 95% of those who voted said they were willing to take industrial action over a real terms pay cut.
The GMB Union claims Asda is trying to force through a pay deal which would see workers lose sick pay entitlement – including the first three days of paid sick pay in any sickness absence and the last 13 to 26 weeks of sick pay.
The sick pay scheme was introduced in 2012 when Asda distribution workers where at increased risk of workplace stress and musco-skeletal issues due to higher pick rates.
GMB has said it will meet with members to discuss next steps.
“This ballot result show how angry Asda workers are,” said Nadine Houghton, GMB National Officer.
“They’re being asked to swallow a real terms pay cut while Asda’s top brass give themselves a hefty pay rise.
“There’s no way these keyworkers should be forced into self-funding their own pay rise via cuts to their sick pay,” she added.
“We will now meet with members to discuss next steps.”
Asda said it had made two improved pay offers to increase warehouse wages to up to £13.89 per hour and driver wages to up to £16.25 per hour. However, the supermarket was “disappointed these were rejected by the GMB without giving their members the chance to vote on the proposal.”
“This is a fair, competitive and sustainable offer,” an Asda spokesperson added.
“It is normal during the course of negotiations to seek ways to help fund additional investment in pay and the offer we have made both increases the rate of pay for workers and retains a sickness pay and policy that is in line with the market.
“Any talk of industrial action is premature as there is an agreed framework in place including independent conciliation and arbitration at ACAS if necessary, as part of our longstanding, agreed dispute resolution process.”