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Protests at ASDA stores over controversial new contract

ASDA workers protest over new contract Photo: PA

The GMB Union is staging fresh Asda protests across the UK, including three three stores in the North West, as workers face the sack if they don't sign a controversial new contract.

The union says Asda is already ‘punishing’ workers who haven’t signed a new contract by taking away their sick pay.

Protests will take place at Asda stores in Manchester, Bolton, Ellesmere Port, Leeds, Glasgow, Nottingham, Walsall, Brighton, Great Yarmouth, Lowestoft, Norwich Stanley, and Taunton.

It follows thousands of Asda workers protesting in Liverpool, London, Hull, Crewe, Dundee, Sheffield, Glasgow, Cwbran, South Shields, Sheffield, Stockport, Portsmouth, Livingston and Newcastle- under-Lyme.

The company has told workers they must sign the so-called 'flexible' Contract 6 - which will see them lose all their paid breaks and will mean they're forced to work bank holidays – or be sacked on November 2.

Now Asda has told those who are yet to sign the contract they will not be paid for any sick leave until they do.

Many GMB members say the contract is forcing them to choose between caring for vulnerable relatives or losing their jobs in the run up the Christmas.

“Our members are angry.

“Workers who have given years or 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.”

– Gary Carter, GMB National Officer
ASDA protests Credit: PA

ASDA say the majority of their workers have signed the new contracts:

“The retail sector is immensely competitive and it is important that we are able to serve our customers in the best way to meet their needs. This contract is about increasing the take-home pay of more than 10,000 retail colleagues, through an investment of more than £80m, and ensuring that everyone doing the same job is on the same terms and conditions.

“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.”

– ASDA spokesman

The protests in the North West will take place at

ASDA Bolton: 7.30am to 5pm

ASDA Ellesmere Port: 7.30am to 5pm

ASDA Trafford Park: 7.30am to 5pm