Asda has given its employees an additional week to sign new contracts with ‘punitive‘ working conditions. The contracts include terms which will mean the end of paid breaks, lower holiday pay and less notice for shifts.
Impact on women workers
GMB Union’s Gary Carter said that the new terms will disproportionately affect women workers. The new contracts require employees to agree working patterns on short notice and don’t accommodate those with children and caring responsibilities. Those who struggle to make care arrangements on short notice therefore won’t be able to commit to the new terms.
Carter went on to say:
We’re talking about people who have worked at Asda for decades – this is not how any employer should treat loyal, hardworking people. Asda should get back round the table to negotiate and offer a better deal to its workers.
Pressure to sign
Asda claims that the majority of employees have signed the new contracts and only around 1,000 remain. However, GMB Union disputes this figure. On 27 October, GMB reportedly claimed that around 12,000 Asda employees were yet to sign.
This eleventh hour delay kicks the can down the road for Asda workers who are unable to sign this punishing new contract. They now face the prospect of the sack even closer to Christmas.
Read on...Support us and go ad-free
…Thousands of Asda workers have been forced into signing this new contract because they can’t afford to lose their jobs, least of all in the run up to Christmas.
An Asda spokesperson said:
Colleagues can still turn up to work, but anybody working after Saturday night will be doing so on the new terms, including the increased pay rate of £9 per hour, as these will be the only terms that exist in Asda.
We have been absolutely clear throughout this process that we don’t want any of our colleagues to leave us and have worked extensively with them and union representatives to understand and address any concerns.
Asda is reportedly the last of the major UK supermarket chains to implement contracts with these employment terms.
Featured image via Flickr/ morebyless
We need your help to keep speaking the truth
Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.
Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.
We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.
In return, you get:
* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop
Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.
With your help we can continue:
* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do
We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?