Asda workers could get the sack unless they agree to a ‘shameful’ pay cut, GMB union claims
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Asda workers could be faced with the sack if they don’t agree to a pay cut, the GMB union has said. The supermarket giant confirmed it was considering ending a supplement paid to some workers in the South East of England to make up for the higher cost of living near London.
The 60p supplement has been paid to some workers for many years, but Asda has said it was now “out of line with the wider retail market” and meant some staff in stores close to each other were paid differently.
According to the GMB Union, 7,000 Asda workers from 39 stores face a “fire and rehire” scenario and will be threatened with dismissal if they refuse the lower pay.
“Cutting staff pay during a cost of living crisis is shameful. And threatening them with fire and rehire tactics is inexcusable,” the union said.
Asda also wanted to reduce workers’ night supplement, with the wage cuts reportedly being lined up for November, the GMB said. Asda said it was discussing the proposed pay cut with staff and that they could be offered compensation if it goes through.
An Asda spokesperson said: “We are holding a collective consultation in a small number of stores outside the M25 where colleagues are currently paid a legacy location supplement of 60p per hour on top of their existing rate of £11.00 per hour.
“This supplement is out of line with the wider retail market and has created an anomaly where some Asda colleagues in stores that are close together are paid different rates.
“As part of this consultation, we are discussing a compensatory payment for colleagues in return for the removal of this location supplement, if the proposal goes ahead. These discussions are ongoing and no final decision has been taken.”
Asda was taken over by the Issa brothers and TDR Capital in 2021 after being formely owned by US retail giant Walmart.