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Asda workers to protest against being 'bullied' into signing new contracts

PUBLISHED: 14:40 03 September 2019 | UPDATED: 14:55 03 September 2019

The Norwich Asda in Drayton High Road. Pic: Archant

The Norwich Asda in Drayton High Road. Pic: Archant

Employees at Asda are to protest in East Anglia against new contracts which they claim would leave them out of pocket - stating if they don't sign, they'll face the sack.

Asda in Lowestoft. Pic: ArchantAsda in Lowestoft. Pic: Archant

Demonstrations are being held at Asda stores in Norwich, Yarmouth and Lowestoft later this month. It comes after workers claim they have until November 2 to sign the new 'Contract 6' or lose their jobs.

Today a spokesman from Asda told this newspaper: "This contract is about increasing the take-home pay of more than 100,000 retail colleagues, through an investment of more than £80m, and ensuring that everyone doing the same job is on the same terms and conditions.

"The overwhelming majority of our colleagues from across all our stores, including in East Anglia, have signed onto the new contracts and while we appreciate that some of our colleagues find the changes more unsettling, we do not want any of them to leave."

But the GMB London Region union has said: "We have made it clear to Asda that it's not good enough and it's not acceptable."

Asda in Yarmouth. Pic: ArchantAsda in Yarmouth. Pic: Archant

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It claims despite a 63p per hour increase on their original contracts, Contract 6 would leave staff worse off due to changes to paid meal breaks and night shifts, the loss of hours and a new flat rate for bank holiday work. The new flexible contract also means the company has the ability to change the number of working days, hours and departments with just four weeks' notice.

GMB has already held two demonstrations in Leeds and is now planning demonstrations at Asda's Norwich store in Drayton High Road, Hellesdon, the Lowestoft store in Belvedere Road, off Horn Hill, and the Yarmouth branch in Acle New Road, Runham Vauxhall, all on September 16 from 9am-4pm.

Keith Dixon, GMB regional organiser said: "Asda was formed from a Leeds family company built on proud Yorkshire values of hard work and respect. They would be spinning in their graves now. Members are also reporting bullying and pressure being applied to force them onto the new contract. Asda is a multi-billion pound company. It doesn't have to do this to its workforce."

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