Asda claims five-day strike by GMB members will not hurt business

Asda has reassured customers that five days of strikes over the creation of national bargaining structures with trade unions will not significantly affect its stores.

Staff at 20 distribution depots across the UK will walk out between Friday 30 June and Tuesday 4 July.

Workers taking part in the industrial action include HGV drivers and warehouse picker and loaders who are reported to be responsible for the supply of 30,000 tonnes of fresh, chilled and frozen produce a day to 300 Asda stores in the UK.

But an Asda spokeswoman said: “There are 4,000 members of the GMB and 14,000 people working in our depots – the remaining two-thirds will be turning up for work as usual.

“It’s up to us to make sure the customers don’t notice the difference,” she said.

GMB members in Asda’s distribution depots want to see the establishment of proper national bargaining structures between the company and the GMB covering pay, conditions and union facilities in all of the distribution depots.

Phil Davies, GMB national secretary, said there was a clear clash of cultures between the way workers do business in Britain and the way Wal-Mart (Asda’s parent company) does business.

“It is significant that the strike dates cover Independence Day. GMB members in Asda want independence from the anti-trade union tactics of Wal-Mart worldwide,” he said.

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