The Asda supermarket in Wisbech, Hampshire has voted for industrial action following a ballot. Meanwhile, the Brighton Marina and Hollingbury stores have opted against taking industrial action.


Following Gosport last month, Wisbech is the second Asda store to face strike action

The GMB union said more than 97% of staff, in a turnout of 87%, voted to walk out over cuts to hours and an “increase in a bullying management culture”.

Health and safety issues were also a concern, but Asda has repeatedly denied claims of an unsafe working environment in the Wisbech store.

Asda said it undertakes full health and safety reviews and checks, re-briefs colleagues on health and safety standards, and that weekly and monthly meetings are in place with GMB representatives to “discuss health and safety matters”.

Wisbech is the second Asda store to face strike action, following walkouts at Gosport last month. Strike dates will be announced in the coming days.

Meanwhile, in Brighton, a ballot at Asda’s Hollingbury store did not meet the minimum requirement for industrial action and the Brighton Marina store decided not to progress with strike action despite meeting the minimum threshold.

It is understood that just 81 colleagues out of 739 across both Brighton stores voted for strike action.

Potential disruption

GMB regional organiser Keith Dixon said the problems “stem from the top” and claims money is being “stripped out of the business”.

Dixon said: “Asda Wisbech workers will now go on strike – just the second time this has happened in an Asda store – after this historic vote.

“They’re understandably angry about slashed hours, a non-existent training programme, bullying management, a lack of understanding for H&S and fire safety, and almost no negotiation with GMB.”

An Asda spokesperson said: “We value colleague feedback and are committed to resolving any concerns raised. Following constructive discussions with GMB officials, we took proactive and practical steps in Wisbech to address the health and safety points raised.

“In addition, we have repeatedly asked them to evidence the claims they have made about our store management. However, we are still waiting for this information.”

The spokesperson added: “Although we are disappointed by the GMB’s decision to proceed with this course of action, we will continue to engage with them and listen to their concerns.

“While any potential disruption to colleagues and customers is unwelcome, we have comprehensive plans in place to minimise any disruption in the event of industrial action.”