// Half of Asda employees are worried about being able to afford Christmas dinner this year, says GMB
// The trade union has called on Asda to increase the base rate of shop floor pay to £10.50 per hour
Asda has defended its record on staff pay, after a GMB survey claimed half of its workers are worried about being able to afford a Christmas dinner this year because of the cost-of-living crisis.
The trade union has called on the supermarket to increase the base rate of shop floor pay to £10.50 per hour with its national officer, Nadine Houghton saying that “without an urgent pay rise, Christmas will be cancelled for thousands of Asda workers.”
Figures released over the weekend by the GMB Union, based on a survey of 3,200 Asda workers, claimed 87% were worried they won’t be able to heat their homes over the winter.
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It came after Tesco increased hourly-pay pay for the second time this year last week, meaning that Asda became the worst paying member of the big four.
Houghton added: “The biggest squeeze on living standards in over a generation is an issue Asda bosses cannot ignore. We are now seeing mid-year pay increases being awarded by other retailers, leaving Asda playing catch up instead of leading the way on staff pay and benefits.
“GMB is now calling on Asda to act quickly and invest in staff to stop them facing a truly bleak winter.”
The GMB said it has written to Asda bosses asking them to increase the base rate of shop floor pay to £10.50 per hour immediately to help workers cope with the cost of living crisis.
Although, until recently Asda was one of the highest paying supermarkets, leaving others to play catch up.”
The grocer has given hourly paid staff two pay increases this year, totalling 8%, and it also offers staff a 10% discount in stores and online, including George, which jumps to 20% during special events.
“We understand that the cost of living crisis is impacting our customers and colleagues alike, which is why we’re investing in keeping our prices low and supporting our colleagues,” said an Asda spokesman told The Grocer.