Asda HR chief calm about union recruitment drive

The HR director at Asda has brushed off the threat of increased union activity at the supermarket giant.

Last week, Union Network International, an umbrella group that represents 900 workers’ groups around the world, called for the increased unionisation of Wal-Mart, Asda’s parent company.

The US retail giant does not promote union membership at any of its stores, and has been accused of actively refusing to allow staff to join unions.

However, HR director David Smith said despite union membership at Asda being less than 10%, the supermarket had no restrictions on people joining and had been unionised since it was first formed.

“We believe in people’s right to join a union,” he told Personnel Today. “We have a partnership agreement with the GMB that covers all shopfloor colleagues.”

Smith pointed to the fact that the retailer’s latest employee survey showed 86% of staff were satisfied with their jobs at Asda.

A spokeswoman for the GMB said the union would be more visible in stores, and was expecting increased membership over the coming months.

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