Asda House in Leeds, photo by Mtaylor848/CC

Asda House in Leeds, photo by Mtaylor848/CC   (Click to enlarge: opens in new window)

GMB union reps and activists from across the country came to protest outside Asda House in Leeds against the company’s proposals to forcibly move what staff remain on other contracts onto ‘Contract 6’.

Contract 6, while giving a slight pay increase, takes away paid breaks and forces increased ‘flexibility’ on staff, including working more bank holidays.

This follows similar moves in companies like Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Morrisons, which unfortunately have seen such changes go through with little organised opposition.

Given the protest was only organised with a few days’ notice, the turnout of around 150 was impressive, with support from staff working in the various Asda buildings around the headquarters.

Clearly Asda management hadn’t prepared for the numbers attending. However, if this forced transfer is to be stopped, this protest cannot be the end.

The union should call mass meetings of Asda workers across different regions to map out a strategy for an ongoing campaign, including to prepare for strike action if necessary.

Iain Dalton, Leeds Socialist Party