11,000 workers to be balloted by GMB tomorrow
Asda's 11,000 depot workers will be balloted on a strike tomorrow, after talks with the retailer on Friday failed to resolve a pay and rights row.

GMB union officials will meet in Manchester to set the timetable for the ballot. Voting papers for official strike action will be sent to union members at 21 Asda depots across the UK. GMB said it has 25,000 members out of Asda's total 140,000 staff in the UK.

The union is in dispute with Asda over four issues:

· an annual bonus payment of£250 not being paid to100,000 employees

· the retailer's refusal to give the GMB national collective bargaining rights at all depots

· pay levels for store workers where the GMB has no bargaining rights

· the introduction of new technology, which will increase workloads by 20 per cent.

GMB national officer for food, leisure and sport Jude Brimble said: 'We have a spectre of low-paid employees being denied a payment of£250 because of the missing of an arbitrary target.'

An Asda spokeswoman said: 'We're not an anti-union company. We've had a mixture of partnership and collective bargaining agreements for years and have worked closely with the GMB since the mid-1960s. At Asda, anyone is free to join a union if they want - the majority seem to feel there's no need.'

She added: 'Our position on unions is being misrepresented for the GMB's own political ends.'

Last month, parent company Wal-Mart said Asda had missed its quarterly sales and profit forecasts.