Asda contract changes ‘leave staff worse off’ - The Worcester Observer

Asda contract changes ‘leave staff worse off’

Worcester Editorial 29th Aug, 2019   0

SUPERMARKET giant Asda is being urged to think again over contract changes which Labour’s prospective parliamentary candidate for Worcester claims will see employees lose out.

Lynn Denham waded into the dispute between the retail giant and its staff over controversial changes which will come to a head in the coming weeks as employees face the prospect of signing the new deals or losing their jobs.

According to city councillor Denham, the changes will see staff lose out on flexibility, holidays and paid breaks. In response to a recent consultative ballot, 93 per cent of respondents told GMB Union they did not agree with the contract changes which were being forced on them.

“It is deeply concerning Worcester people may be forced into accepting worse terms and conditions in order to improve the profitability of Walmart, a US corporation,” said Coun Denham.

“I would encourage any staff in Worcester affected by the proposed contract changes to get in touch with their local GMB office in Worcester. Shoppers would be horrified to know Asda are leaving staff with no real choice. Asda should think again.

“Asda must work constructively with GMB Union, its members and workers at Asda to seek a better deal and secure a decent future for Asda workers in Worcester.”

In response, an Asda spokesman said the retailer currently had six different contracts for staff and the move to a single contract would ensure ‘consistency and fairness’ and allow the company to have the ‘right colleagues in the right place at the right time’.

“The retail sector is undergoing significant change and it is important we are able to keep pace with these changes,” he said. “The overwhelming majority of our colleagues have signed onto the new contracts and while we appreciate that some of our colleagues find the changes more unsettling, we do not want any of them to leave.

“We have been clear we understand colleagues have commitments outside of work and will not be asking them to constantly move the time they work, their days or departments. Any changes will be with at least four weeks’ notice.

“This contract is about increasing the take-home pay of more than 100,000 retail colleagues, through an investment of more than £80million and ensuring everyone doing the same job is on the same terms and conditions.”

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