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GMB members at ASDA Wisbech to ballot on strike action

Workers say they are angry at a series of issues

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ASDA workers in Wisbech are being balloted on strike action over union claims of poor pay, a cut in working hours, poor health and safety and failure to resolve equal pay. They are among nearly 400 GMB members at the Wisbech, Brighton Hollingbury, and Brighton Marina stores who will vote on whether to take industrial action.

The GMB says the votes follow the first ever strike of ASDA workers at the retailer’s Gosport store, where almost 100 GMB members walked out in protest at the ‘toxic’ working environment.

The new ballots will run from 16 February until 5 March.

Workers say they are angry at a series of issues including:

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  • cuts in hours
  • poor health and safety
  • inadequate training
  • lack of collective bargaining (rights to negotiate on pay and conditions)
  • failure to resolve equal pay

The union says that estimates being shared among Asda staff reveal eight million hours have been lost across Asda’s workforce in the last two years alone, with further reductions expected this year.

Nadine Houghton, GMB National Officer, said: “Asda workers are voting on strike action because they want to see a better, thriving company.

“Meanwhile the Issa Brothers and TDR Capital continue the asset stripping of Asda at pace.

“An estimated eight million hours have been cut from the shop floor in the past two years alone, reducing staff costs by up to tens of millions of pounds.

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ASDA workers at Wisbech will ballot on whether to take industrial action. Their union, the GMB, allege cuts in hours, poor health and safety, inadequate training, lack of collective bargaining (rights to negotiate on pay and conditions) and failure to resolve equal pay

ASDA workers at Wisbech will ballot on whether to take industrial action. Their union, the GMB, allege cuts in hours, poor health and safety, inadequate training, lack of collective bargaining (rights to negotiate on pay and conditions) and failure to resolve equal pay

“GMB members want to know why they are being forced to do more work with fewer colleagues and worsening health and safety standards, while Moshin Issa spends millions on mansions and private jets.

“These cuts are not something that ASDA workers agreed to nor had any say in.

“That is why they are calling for proper rights for ASDA’s largest trade union – GMB – to represent them.”

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ASDA said of the Gosport strike that just 46 out of the 225 employees took part in the walk out and the company also dismissed as” unsubstantiated” allegations about bullying and health and safety breaches.

The store owners also say they have taken “reasonable and practical action” to address the GMB’s concerns.

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