Asda takes legal action over proposed strike

Asda is taking legal action in a bid to prevent a proposed five-day strike by thousands of workers at its distribution depots across the UK.

Members of the GMB union are due to walk out on Friday after backing action in a row over negotiating rights and bonus pay.

However, the supermarket is seeking an injunction against the strike because of what it calls “serious irregularities” in the ballot.

David Smith, Asda’s people director, said: “We are sad we have to do this but there were serious flaws in the ballot process with people who don’t even work for Asda being sent ballot papers.

“We have tried raising this with the union but they have ignored us – instead they have gone ahead and called a strike regardless.

“With only 1% of our colleagues voting for a strike we’ve got to do all we can to protect the other 99%. The GMB has left us with no choice but to take legal action to try and put a stop to this.”

Asda has already vowed to keep any disruption to a minimum if the strike does go ahead. The company is to bus staff into work in an effort to protect the identity of those who cross picket lines.

The GMB has said it plans to film staff entering and leaving depots during this week’s strike in an attempt to prove that the company is illegally using agency staff to break the strike.

Under new legislation it is illegal for agencies to supply temporary staff to replace strikers. But Asda has accused the union of intimidating staff.

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