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Asda strikes postponed for last-ditch talks with union

Asda store in Blackburn

The planned Asda strike at Gosport superstore has been deferred to allow last-minute talks with the union.

Up to 100 workers were initially set to walk out on January 15, with additional strike dates on January 29 and February 11. 

The GMB union said it hopes the discussions would address longstanding store issues.

Asda workers said caused a "toxic atmosphere." 

The union sent Asda a dossier outlining 21 problems.

These included:

employer
  • Compromised fire safety exits
  • a lack of seriousness in addressing accidents and workplace incidents

"Asda need to come to these last-ditch talks with the sole aim of resolving the issues at hand"

Nicola Nixon, GMB regional organiser, said: “We are pleased that Asda management are taking our members’ views seriously, but saddened that it took the very real threat of industrial action to bring them to the table for serious talks.

“Our members are very clear that they will not hesitate to come out on strike on 15 January and into February unless they receive definite commitments that this toxic atmosphere will be brought to an end.

“While it is ultimately the members who will decide if they are satisfied and they who will decide when the dispute ends, Asda need to come to these last-ditch talks with the sole aim of resolving the issues at hand.”

Meanwhile, the supermarket signed an agreement with the retail trade union Usdaw.

It allows Asda to “recruit and represent” hourly paid staff in former EG Group convenience stores and restaurants acquired by the supermarket in October. 

This includes Euro Garages and Leon Restaurants, covering 356 convenience stores and 77 Leon restaurants across the UK. 

Usdaw will now negotiate for hourly paid staff concerning pay, hours, and holidays in these establishments. 

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Hayley Tatum, chief people and corporate affairs officer at Asda, said: “We respect the important role trade unions play in representing our valued colleagues.

“As Usdaw already represents the 2,300 colleagues in the convenience stores we acquired from the Co-op Group, it is a natural progression to recognise them as our partner for the sites we have acquired from EG Group.

“We look forward to working collaboratively with them to deliver positive outcomes for colleagues in this important and growing area of our business.”

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