January 27, 2022

Asda faces threat of strike action as workers balloted over pay freeze

Asda faces potential industrial action as GMB Union ballots workers over Asda’s failure to make a meaningful pay offer. The supermarket giant failed to offer distribution staff a meaningful pay offer – which, with inflation rampant, is a kick in the teeth for their key workers. 

In 2020 Asda’s directors trousered £12.6m in pay and share based payments – a whopping 30% increase on the previous year.  

Meanwhile the company turned an operating profit of £486m in the year to 31st December 2020. [1] 

Asda and GMB are currently locked in a long-running equal pay claim on behalf of 40,000 Asda workers over whether the predominantly female shop floor workforce deserves equal pay to that of those in the distribution centre. [2] 

The ballot closes on 20th December. 

Nadine Houghton, GMB National Officer, said: “Asda workers turned up throughout the Covid pandemic risking their lives to keep the nation fed – as well as helping the company turn a profit of almost £500m. 

“Staff who saw colleagues lose their lives to covid are not having their legitimate demands for a pay rise treated seriously. 

“Asda now say GMB members pay claim is ‘unaffordable’ and yet their hard work and sacrifice helped directors trouser almost £10m between them. 

“It’s a disgrace – we urge Asda workers to fight for what they deserve and vote YES for a ballot for industrial action.” 

[1] https://find-and-update.company-information.service.gov.uk/company/01396513/filing-history 

[2] https://www.gmb.org.uk/news/gmb-hails-massive-victory-supreme-court-40000-asda-workers-equal-pay