ELLESMERE Port's MP has urged supermarket giant Asda its bid to bring in ‘punitive’ new contracts for many low-paid staff.

The GMB union claims the store staff have been threatened with the sack unless they sign ‘punitive’ deals withdrawing paid breaks and reducing bank holiday pay to £9 an hour.

Justin Madders MP says the forced contract changes will see staff in the Ellesmere Port Asda store on Grange Road lose out.

Chester and District Standard:

Asda in Ellesmere Port

The issue over these controversial new contracts has been rumbling on for some months but it is due to come to a head in the coming weeks as staff across the country are being asked to sign changes to their contracts.

These changes will see them lose out on flexibility and holidays.

Mr Madders fears that thousands of ASDA workers simply won’t be flexible in the way that Asda bosses want and imposing a new contract won’t change workers’ childcare, caring, studying, family and other outside work commitments.

One member of staff told their union that “I haven’t signed up to Contract Six because I look after my disabled mum when I’m off work.”

This person is not alone, in response to a recent consultative ballot, 93% of respondents told GMB Union that they did not agree with the contract changes which were being forced on them.

Another member of staff working in a North West store, who did not wish to be identified, said: “I work nights and am affected drastically by these changes.

“We face a reduction in break times from one hour over an eight-hour shift to just half an hour.

“We will be working more hours for less pay per hour. They will require us to work bank holidays, currently paid at time and a half but reduced to normal pay. The biggest fear is that if you don’t sign the new contract then you will be dismissed.”

Chester and District Standard:

Justin Madders MP

Justin Madders MP said: “It is deeply concerning that such a large employer in Ellesmere Port is leaving their staff with no choice other than to accept these new contracts or risk losing their job.

“Many Asda workers with caring commitments are going to be severely hit by any loss in flexibility – this is an awful position for the company to put dedicated staff in. Shoppers would be horrified to know Asda are leaving staff with no real choice. Asda should think again.

“I understand some improvements to the original contract proposed have been won by GMB members in Asda but I’ll be calling on Asda to work constructively with the union, its members and workers in Asda to seek a better deal and secure a decent future for Asda workers in Ellesmere Port.”

An Asda spokesman sad: “This new contract will see Asda invest in a pay increase for 100,000 colleagues, enabling us to deliver better service to our customers.”

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