A campaign by workers and the GMB union is fighting back for Asda workers who are facing the sack in “12 weeks’ time unless they sign a punishing new contract”.
So far, over 10,000 people have signed a petition supporting the workers. And people are tweeting to say they stand with staff by using the hashtag #AsdaRespectYourWorkers.
The new contracts will mean that Asda staff lose some of the benefits they currently receive. In some cases, this includes cutting paid breaks and being forced to work on bank holidays. One worker told the Mirror how they felt “trapped” and that:
They are not prison officers and we are not in prison, it would be nice to be spoken to as an equal.
According to the GMB, the new contracts mean that many people – including single parents and those caring for elderly relatives – are being forced to give up work. The union also released the following video about the new contracts:
In Leeds, where Asda’s HQ is, people are marching against the new contracts.
GMB national officer Justin Bowden explained that:
In the boardroom it may be all about the bottom line but out in the stores this is about real people’s lives being pulled apart with often devastating consequences. This is about values and reasonableness and respect for hard-working staff from a billion-pound company.
People travelled to the protest from across the country:
— GMB Wales & S West (@GMBWSW) August 14, 2019
And protesters sent a “clear message” to bosses:
We’re here in Leeds to send a clear message to #Asda bosses
Threatening to sack workers to impose a punishing contract is not acceptable
— GMB West Midlands (@GMBWestMidlands) August 14, 2019
Asda’s current owner is Walmart – which is reportedly the world’s biggest company and is owned by the world’s richest family. Critics have long accused Walmart of exploiting its workers and avoiding billions of dollars in tax.
Many people on Twitter, meanwhile, voiced support for the campaign. Labour MP Vicky Foxcroft said:
— Vicky Foxcroft MP (@vickyfoxcroft) August 14, 2019
Lawyer and filmmaker Peter Stefanovic also stood up for Asda workers:
Asda workers are being threatened with the sack if they do not sign a punishing contract.
Today Asda workers from every corner of the country are coming together to demand a better deal.
— Peter Stefanovic (@PeterStefanovi2) August 14, 2019
Other people insisted that they would no longer be shopping at Asda:
— Spare Head 3 (@SnefnyJenkins) August 14, 2019
— Jan Tait (@JanCT8) August 14, 2019
Asda is hopefully now seeing the strength of the campaign. But we all need to keep up the pressure and make sure the company cannot get away with this despicable treatment of its workers.
Featured image via Wikimedia/Kicior99
- Sign the petition.
- Show that you stand with Asda workers and tweet #AsdaRespectYourWorkers.
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