The long-running dispute between Asda and the GMB union over industrial relations at the supermarket chain could finally be over after a fruitful meeting this morning.
At the conclusion of the meeting between Asda chief executive, Andy Bond, and acting general secretary of GMB, Paul Kenny, both issued a joint statement:
“The meeting today between us is the most progressive we’ve had. We both agree that we have made positive progress and today’s meeting has been a significant step in the right direction.
“We have both agreed an action plan to work together to form a national joint council for distribution and are now going to develop the detail of this arrangement.
“The GMB has agreed to withdraw [its] plan to ballot colleagues for industrial action and Asda expressed thanks for this gesture.
“We would both like to reinforce our commitment to working together.”
The union had previously threatened to ballot its members at Asda depots over worsening industrial relations and warned the supermarket chain that it could call for consumers to boycott its stores, prompting an angry response from the company.