Labor group GMB says staff who work for Asda have been ‘forced to use payday lenders and food banks’ due to rising prices as inflation continues to soar and the coronavirus crisis cost of living is getting worse
Asda has been accused of ‘below industry pay’ for supermarket staff amid the cost of living crisis.
Labor group GMB says a number of staff who work for the Big Four grocer have been ‘forced to use payday lenders and food banks’ due to rising prices.
The claims come as Asda confirmed it would raise hourly rates from £9.36 per hour to £9.66 per hour from April 1, a jump of 3.25%.
In comparison, inflation rates have soared to 5.4% – their highest level in 30 years as the cost of living crisis continues to drive up prices.
Asda says its London employees will see their pay rise to £10.83.
Adam Gerard/Daily Mirror)
The supermarket added that salaries for staff outside London would rise to £10.06 in April 2023, which would mark a further increase of 4.1%.
GMB says most other supermarkets are already paying their workers over £10 an hour, even outside the capital.
The union group’s “below-industry” wage increases for this year will affect 150,000 workers, but Asda says the hourly rate applies to 123,000 employees.
He adds that his two-year wage increase is above inflation rates and that it is an agreement recently accepted by members of the USDAW union.
Nadine Houghton, country manager of GMB, said: “Asda bosses are forcing retail workers to accept wages far below the industry average.
“Most other supermarkets pay over £10 an hour – Asda workers are only looking at £9.66 from April.
“The worst cost of living crisis in decades has forced them to resort to payday lenders and food banks as their mental health suffers.
“Asda bosses should do better thanks to their hardworking staff who have nurtured the country through the pandemic.”
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Hayley Tatum, Director of Human Resources at Asda, said: “We appreciate the excellent work our store colleagues do serving customers every day and, reflecting this, we are increasing their hourly pay rates by 7.35% at over the next two years.
“Our hourly rates will increase to £9.66 in April and £10.06 in April 2023.
“We remain the only supermarket to pay all store colleagues a bonus, worth several hundred pounds a year on average, as part of a comprehensive benefits package.”
Asda says it is the only supermarket to offer its hourly-paid colleagues a bonus on top of a “comprehensive benefits package”. The average salary this year for full-time shop colleagues is £460.
Most supermarkets, including Aldi, Lidl, Morrisons and Sainsbury’s, all pay their staff £10 or more per hour, while Tesco raised hourly pay to £9.55 last year.
Every grocer in the UK, including Asda, pays above the minimum wage required by law.
The national minimum wage in the UK for people aged 18 to 20 is currently £6.56, rising to £6.83 from April 2022.
For workers aged 21 to 22, the minimum wage is £8.36 and can rise to £9.18.
Britons aged 23 and over receive the national living wage, which is currently £8.91, rising to £9.50 from April 1.