Asda threatens to ‘fire and rehire’ over 7,000 workers, warns union

THE Retail Gazette reports that Asda is set to hit more than 7,000 workers with a fire and rehire threat.

The GMB Union has warned that the supermarket plans to tell staff at 39 stores across southern England they will lose their 60p per hour ‘location supplement’ and have their night supplement reduced.

The Retail Gazette says that the union believes that those who do not agree will have the new contract imposed on them and could face dismissal if they don’t sign. Workers at the 39 stores have been historically paid more to offset a higher cost of living in London area.

A consultation on the changes is currently underway, with plans to implement them set for November.

The GMB says this is an example of private equity slash and burn tactics to pave the way for Asda’s potential £11 billion debt merger with EG group. GMB organiser Nadine Houghton said “Cutting the pay of 7,000 low-paid, retail workers during a cost-of-living crisis is inexcusable.

“The billionaire Issa brothers and their business partners the multi-millionaire elite private equity fund managers in TDR Capital are restructuring ASDA in preparation for the debt laden merger they are trying to push through with EG Group.

Ms Houghton continues “If the business secretary allows this merger to go ahead, she will be responsible for allowing a deal that is bad for workers, bad for consumers and bad for the high street.”

Asda has confirmed that discussions are ongoing with a “small number of stores outside the M25” about scrapping the location supplement.

An Asda spokesman 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.

Asda says that the 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. However, the grocery giant said that it is exploring a “compensatory payment” for employees hit with the location supplement changes.

Discussions are ongoing.

Support a practical, investable and inclusive narrative for land use.

Sign-up to receive our newsletter

Newsletter Signup
Contribute for just £2.50 per week
Skip to content