Asda workers in the UK could go on strike unless the company changes its “efficiency” plan, which has put 300 jobs at risk and thousands of staff facing a pay cut.
The supermarket announced a significant restructure of its business which would threaten 300 workers and wage reductions for more than 4,000 night workers.
The move has led to the possibility of strikes, the GMB union told Sky News.
The biggest adjustment would involve 4,137 hourly employees switching to daytime positions, forfeiting the extra income they would have received for working nights (at least £2.52 per hour).
According to Asda, its planned adjustments are a result of changing consumer behaviour and a desire to be as productive as possible.
The GMB says the plan is “unworkable,” claiming that many of those who would need to modify their hours would find it difficult to accept a pay cut in light of the growing cost-of-living issue.
The union further claimed that because the amended shifts would end at midnight, it would present more logistical challenges to the personnel.
A union source told Sky a sizable fraction was anticipated to be let go under the current plans.
However, they stressed the official consultation period would be constructive and that negotiations would focus on obtaining concessions from management in order to avert the possibility of a strike ballot.
National officer Nadine Houghton said: “Many Asda workers feel this is just a cost-cutting measure, needed to alleviate the financial pressure of the debt leveraged bonanza to buy Asda – but it’s going to hit some of the lowest paid retail workers on the high street.
“These changes to night-time replenishment have outraged night workers, who will now lose between £300 and £500 a month.
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“Many say they will not be able to afford to take the new hours being offered due to the loss of night enhancements and hours. We could see significant job losses.”
Source: Retail Gazette