Asda workers have voted in favour of strike action in a consultative ballot, with the GMB union saying staff were being “asked to swallow a real terms pay cut.”
In a ballot of 8,000 GMB members, covering driver, warehouse and clerical roles, some 95 per cent indicated they were in support of industrial action.
Staff have criticised the supermarket’s plans to lose sick pay entitlement to the first three days of paid sick pay in any sickness absence and the last 13 to 26 weeks of sick pay.
The union said it will now meet with members to discuss next steps.
Nadine Houghton, GMB national officer, said: “This ballot result show how angry Asda workers are. They’re being asked to swallow a real terms pay cut while Asda’s top brass give themselves a hefty pay rise. There’s no way these keyworkers should be forced into self-funding their own pay rise via cuts to their sick pay. “
The supermarket said it had made two improved pay offers to raise warehouse wages to up to £13.89 per hour and driver wages to up to £16.25 per hour but was “disappointed these were rejected by the GMB without giving their members the chance to vote on the proposal.”
“This is a fair, competitive and sustainable offer,” an Asda spokesperson added.
“It is normal during the course of negotiations to seek ways to help fund additional investment in pay and the offer we have made both increases the rate of pay for workers and retains a sickness pay and policy that is in line with the market.
“Any talk of industrial action is premature as there is an agreed framework in place including independent conciliation and arbitration at ACAS if necessary, as part of our longstanding, agreed dispute resolution process.”