Is Asda holding back pay to cover equal pay liabilities?

15 Dec 2021
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GMB, the union for Asda workers, wants the company to come clean and disclose if it is holding back a pay rise for hardworking distribution staff because of potential future liabilities in a long-running equal pay claim. 

The union has begun balloting warehouse workers and drivers over potential industrial action after the company failed to make a meaningful pay offer. 

GMB is currently engaged in a long-running battle to secure equal pay for 40,000 predominantly female shopfloor workers in Asda, who the union says do not get the same money for the same value work as people employed in the company’s distribution centres. [1] 

GMB has written to Asda seeking answers on whether the equal pay court case is being used as an excuse for the failure to properly fund the workers’ pay claim. 

Nadine Houghton, GMB National Officer, said: 

“We’ve written to Asda bosses for clarity; do the new owners have any liabilities in relation to the equal pay claim and if so, have any board level decisions been made to limit distribution workers’ pay? 

“We know the previous owners, Walmart, have pledged more than £600 million for ‘certain indemnities’ - but what exactly does that cover? 

“Have the new bosses made any promises to Walmart over limiting future liabilities in the equal pay case? 

“Our thousands of Asda distribution members – who risked their lives though the pandemic – deserve to know the truth.” 


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