Police called to keep peace as angry staff striking at Asda in Gosport block deliveries
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Workers staged an historic walkout amid a bitter row over a "toxic" work culture involving “bullying” at the supermarket in Dock Road. Employees downed tools on Friday during a 24-hour strike.
Staff were prevented from parking their cars in the car park during the demonstration while those on strike blocked delivery vehicles - with the road left jammed. Banners were held high - with one reading "half empty shelves, not enough staff to stock'em, mum's gone to Iceland".
Police said they attended the incident which did not involve any arrests. A spokesperson said: “We can confirm that officers have attended the Asda store on Dock Road in Gosport, where a peaceful protest has been taking place. Our presence has been for the purpose of monitoring the situation in the interest of public safety.
“Everyone has the right to free speech and protest and we have a long history of facilitating peaceful protests and upholding the right to protest, while balancing it with the rights of others, keeping the public safe, preventing crime and disorder and seeking to minimise disruption.”
Nicola Nixon, GMB Union regional organiser, told The News on Friday: "We’ve got a culture of bullying, poor working conditions, not enough staff to do the jobs that need doing and not enough hours in the store for the staff to do what needs to be done. Health and safety is suffering, staff morale is suffering. We asked for a gesture of goodwill from Asda to acknowledge what is going on, but they said no, which we think is really disappointing.
“Just a few years ago, these people were Covid heroes working during the pandemic. We think they deserve more."
An Asda spokesperson said: "We are disappointed the GMB have taken this course of action and can reassure our customers that the Gosport store will open as usual this weekend. The majority of colleagues in store are not affiliated with the GMB and will continue to work as normal during this period. Over the course of several weeks, we have taken reasonable and practical action to address the GMB’s concerns.”