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‘Safe - For Now’, GMB Says ASDA Jobs Assurances Offer Worried Staff ‘No Comfort’

Monday, April 30, 2018

‘Safe - For Now’, GMB Says ASDA Jobs Assurances Offer Worried Staff ‘No Comfort’

GMB Scotland has this afternoon (Monday 30 April) warned ASDA their assurances that jobs are ‘safe – for now’ will offer worried staff no comfort whatsoever, as more details about the Sainsbury’s merger become known.

GMB understands that staff across ASDA retail and distributions operations were told this morning by local managers that the merger plan with Sainsbury’s will offer no immediate threat to their employment.

This follows on from comments made this morning by ASDA Chief Executive Roger Burnley in a communication to all staff, stating he ‘does not anticipate closing any stores’ and that an investigation into the merger by the Competitions and Markets Authority (CMA) may not produce its findings until ‘the second half of 2019’.

However, after 48 hours of uncertainty, GMB Scotland is now calling Mr Burnley to do more and tell staff his vision for their jobs, terms and conditions in the year 2020 and beyond - including urgent clarification on the future of ASDA’s two Scottish distribution centres in Falkirk and Grangemouth, employing over 1,000 people.

GMB Scotland Organiser Bob Deavy said: “We’ve been inundated with calls from worried ASDA staff. There is no comfort whatsoever in being told your employment status is merely ‘safe for now’ when you have families to feed and mortgages to pay for.

ASDA senior executives can spin this merger any way they like but the reality is they have offered no guarantees about jobs, business models will change and the CMA will most likely not allow the status quo to remain.

Something has to give when giants collide and our challenge to Roger Burnley is straightforward: Tell us what your vision is for our members’ jobs, terms and conditions in the year 2020 after the dust settles on this merger. 

After weeks if not months of negotiations with Sainsbury’s in the shadows, without any consultation with the workers or their trade union, and given the serious implications this could have on the Scottish economy, it’s time we had some honesty.”


Contact: Bob Deavy, GMB Scotland Organiser, on 07921 289740 or Peter Welsh, GMB Scotland Communications, on 07976 447077.