ASDA protest: Leeds staff hold furious demonstration – 'Race to the bottom!'
The supermarket giant has introduced a new contract, which requires workers to work on bank holidays and introduces unpaid breaks. Asda promised to increase pay for more than 100,000 staff. But hundreds have taken to the streets after the GMB Union organised protests across the UK, saying the “highly-profitable” firm could “afford to treat staff better”.
Labour MP Richard Burgon spoke to the crowds at the rally, saying: “I think Asda bosses are treating staff not in the right way they deserve.
“It’s a race to the bottom by a very profitable company.”
GMB Union attacked the “punitive” contract, which will force staff to work for £9 an hour on bank holidays.
GMB national officer Gary Carter, said: “Asda is a multibillion-pound, highly-profitable company and it can afford to treat staff better than this.
“We’re calling on Asda to come back to the negotiating table and give this dedicated workforce a fair deal.”
GMB national president Barbara Plant told crowds: “I’m here today to stand with you and show support. You have every right to be angry about these contracts,” according to Leeds Live.
Asda said in a statement: “The retail sector is undergoing significant change and it is important that we are able to keep pace with these changes.
“The overwhelming majority of our colleagues 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 have been clear that 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. Any changes will be with at least four weeks’ notice.
”This contract is about increasing the take-home pay of more than 100,000 retail colleagues, through an investment of more than £80m, and ensuring that everyone doing the same job is on the same terms and conditions.”