Asda employees ‘can’t afford to shop there’ as pay rise ‘quickly’

A cost-of-living survey of 800 Asda employees by GMB union found that many complained about their lingering incomes with more than half borrowing money from friends and family to cover their expenses.

Asda supermarket chain
Asda supermarket chain

Asda workers insist they “can’t afford to shop there” due to rising costs of living and “slight” wage increases.

The employees said they currently use food banks to feed themselves.

However, supermarket chain Asda, the UK’s third largest retailer, was acquired in 2020 by billionaire brothers Zuber and Moshin Issa for £6.8 billion.

And its latest accounts say its profit in 2020 is £368 million.

But Daily record reported a cost-of-living survey of 800 GMB union Asda employees found that many complained about their income being stretched.

More than half said they were borrowing money from friends and family to earn money.

Asda worker Diane Brownlee says supermarket prices have risen so much she struggles to buy them

More than 500 of those surveyed said the sharp rise in prices was affecting their mental health.

About 5% admitted to having quit because of inability to work, and another 7% said they used a food bank.

Almost all (760) said they did not feel valued as a key employee of the company.

Among those who completed the survey was Bishopbriggs Asda worker Diane Brownlee, 41.

The mother of one who has worked for a supermarket near Glasgow, Lanarkshire for 11 years told Daily record: “Asda has posted record profits since closing, with directors paying themselves attractive bonuses.

“Workers have put their lives first by rushing to work during the pandemic.

“But our hard work went unrecognized. We fed people during the pandemic.

Customers have seen an increase in the cost of living for goods


AFP via Getty Images)

“With the salary increase, I can no longer afford to work in Asda.

“And I certainly can’t afford to shop there without the employee discount.

“Asda bosses tell us we’re frontline workers. But many of us feel like we’re on the edge.”

Earlier this month, 123,000 Asda employees were told wages would rise to £9.66 an hour compared with April. But that’s much lower than most other supermarkets.

Aldi, Lidl, Morrisons and Sainsbury’s all pay their staff more than £10 an hour.

Only Tesco pays less – £9.55 an hour – although this year’s pay rise has yet to be announced.

Another Asda worker in Blantyre, who wished to remain anonymous, said she was stunned by the price increase.

The old woman in her 60s said: “I have colleagues in their late 60s and even 70s.

“They’re working because they can’t afford to stop.

“The raise is an insult to the work they do.

“We get 10% off Asda purchases but, even with that, it’s been a struggle.

Brothers Zuber and Mohsin Issa, owner of Asda


“I’ve had colleagues who can’t come to work because of travel expenses. It is very sad”.

GMB criticized inflation below Asda’s 3.25% rise.

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) – the government’s preferred choice for measuring the cost of living – is forecast to hit 8% in April.

Scottish organizer Robert Deavy said: “Asda bosses should be ashamed of the prospect of staff not being able to afford the food they stock on shelves and any politician worth their salt. shocking – there are no ‘promotions’ or ‘fair jobs’ in Asda.

“For the past two years, employees have been told that they are key workers, they have helped keep the country fed and watered during the Covid-19 rule, but after all what they’ve done for all of us, their ‘thank you’ pay will be just £9.66 an hour while inflation soars to a 30-year high.

GMB criticized Asda’s rise in inflation below 3.25%


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“Without intervention, these daily struggles will only get worse, and for the tens of thousands of key workers in Asda, the real possibility is that they will go from the front lines to below the limit. in 2022”.

The CPI and supermarket food prices were highlighted last month by food campaigner Jack Monroe.

She forced Asda to roll out her value range to more stores after she showed how prices were skyrocketing.

In a viral thread on Twitter, the mum said a bag of the cheapest pasta has gone from 29p to 70p in over a year, with canned pasta going from 13p to 35p in the same period.

Monroe started a statistical campaign to better represent the growing cost of food for the poorest.

She has set up her own index tracking the prices of basic ranges at supermarkets with the help of her Twitter followers.

Food writer and activist Jack Monroe


Steve Bainbridge)

Last month, the Office for National Statistics announced plans to use supermarket scanner data to give a more detailed picture of price changes.

An Asda spokesman said the pay agreement, made with the Usdaw union, would result in wages in excess of £10 an hour within two years.

He also said that Asda is the only supermarket that gives bonuses to employees.

Asda said this is the only supermarket that rewards employees


AFP via Getty Images)

He added: “This pay offer has been negotiated with Usdaw and will see co-worker hourly wages increase by 7.35% over the next two years, with an increase to £9.66 in October. 4 and to £10.06 next year.

“We are the only supermarket to pay in-store colleagues bonuses, averaging £413 this year to full-time colleagues, as part of a comprehensive benefits package, which also includes 10% off in-store and online.”

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