Monday 16 September 2019 9:43 am

Asda employees stage fresh protests over contract changes

Asda employees are protesting across the country over the implementation of a controversial new contract.

Protests will take place at nine stores today, including in Leeds, Glasgow and Nottingham, after GMB union members staged demonstrations across the country earlier this month. 

Read more: Asda under pressure as workers stage nationwide protests

Workers have raised concerns that the new “Section 6” contract means they will be forced to work bank holidays and weekends and will not be paid for any breaks. 

However, the Walmart-owned supermarket said a new contract is required to create flexibility in the “immensely competitive” retail sector.

It said it has minimised the impact of unpaid breaks and increased the notice period to ask staff to change their department or working pattern following consultation with unions. 

Staff that have not yet signed the contract are on notice and will lose their jobs on 2 November if they do not agree to the new terms. 

GMB national officer Gary Carter said: “Our members are angry. Workers who have given years of loyal service are being told ‘sign this brutal contract or get the sack in time for Christmas’.

“By forcing people to sign this contract, Asda are making people choose between their families or their jobs.

“We’re calling on Asda to respect its workforce and offer dedicated, long-serving staff a better deal”. 

Read more: Weak Asda sales drive down Walmart’s international income

An Asda spokesperson said: “The overwhelming majority of our colleagues from across all our stores 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 understand colleagues have commitments outside of work and will not be asking them to constantly move the time they work, their days or departments”.

Main image credit: Getty