Asda: Historic Gosport strike catalyst for potential industrial action in Brighton and Wisbech as ballots cast

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Employees at three Asda stores are being balloted for potential strike action following the walkout in Gosport.

GMB Union members at the Brighton Hollingbury, Brighton Marina and Wisbech supermarkets are being asked to vote on industrial action. This follows the 24 hour strike at the Gosport superstore in Dock Road last Friday - with employees being at their wits end over their hours being slashed.

GMB union members at the Asda superstore in Gosport staging a 24 hour walkout on February 9, 2024. Picture: Sarah Standing (090224-6888)GMB union members at the Asda superstore in Gosport staging a 24 hour walkout on February 9, 2024. Picture: Sarah Standing (090224-6888)
GMB union members at the Asda superstore in Gosport staging a 24 hour walkout on February 9, 2024. Picture: Sarah Standing (090224-6888) | Sarah Standing

They said they were working in a "toxic" and "bullying" work culture. Asda disputed the claims and said they are "unsubstantiated". Nearly 400 union members are being asked for their opinion, with the ballot running from today until March 5. They are disputing a cut in hours, poor health and safety, inadequate training and other problems.

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Nadine Houghton, GMB National Officer, said: "Asda workers are voting on strike action because they want to see a better, thriving company. An estimated eight million hours have been cut from the shop floor in the past two years alone, reducing staff costs by up to tens of millions of pounds." Ms Houghton added that GMB members want to know why they are being forced to do more work with fewer colleagues and worsening health and safety standards.

Asda previously said they never received a complaint at the Gosport store in regards to health and safety concerns. No further strike action at the Dock Road supermarket has currently been mooted. Nicola Nixon, GMB Union regional organiser, previously told The News: "Just a few years ago, these people were Covid heroes working during the pandemic. We think they deserve more."

An Asda spokesperson said: "We value feedback from our colleagues and have established processes in place for them to address any concerns. We've requested specific details from the GMB regarding the alleged issues in our Wisbech and Brighton stores but have yet to receive this information. We’re also waiting for them to share details of the alleged issues they have found in the Gosport store too.

"While any potential disruption is unwelcome, we are confident this can be managed and these stores will remain open as normal for our customers. This was demonstrated recently in Gosport, where fewer than 30 colleagues participated in industrial action.”

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