Thousands of Asda lorry drivers poised to strike after rejecting pay deal

Thousands of Asda lorry drivers poised to strike after rejecting pay deal

Almost 70% of the GMB union’s 8,000 members within Asda’s distribution network, which employs 12,000 in total, voted to reject pay rises of between 5% and 7.5%.

That pay rise compares to inflation of 7.8% – on the retail prices index measure – while the legal minimum wage is set to increase by 6.6% in April.

Almost 80% of those balloted said they were ready to take action over the pay deal, raising the prospect of strikes that would affect all 23 distribution depots serving the UK’s third largest supermarket chain.

Nadine Houghton, a national officer for the GMB, said: “The UK is facing the worst cost of living crisis for a generation. Inflation is rampant and energy prices are out of control.

“Yet Asda workers are being taken for mugs with a below-inflation pay offer that basically means a real-terms pay cut.

“They’re not going to take it lying down – it’s now up to Asda bosses to come back with a reasonable offer and avert the threat of industrial action.”

Jon Parry, the vice-president of Asda Logistics Services, said: “We value the key role our colleagues play to keep our stores well stocked, and we have negotiated in good faith with the GMB to make a fair, competitive and sustainable pay offer that recognises rising inflation. We are disappointed this has been rejected.”

Asda said it expected the GMB to honour a national recognition agreement under which the next step would be a meeting between the union, the supermarket and the conciliation service Acas.

Christmas was suspended pending a pay review. It is understood talks are continuing.