Asda Norwich-001

Asda is facing its third walkout by staff at a supermarket, in strike action at its Lowestoft store.

Almost 200 GMB members are set to down tools after 87% voted for industrial action on an 80% turnout, according to the union.

Strike dates are due to be announced in the coming days.

GMB said workers were angry over issues including cuts in hours, poor quality training and “bullying management”.

They are also said to be unhappy over unaddressed health & safety issues and an equal pay dispute that has dragged on for years.

It follows a walkout at an Asda store in Gosport last month and a vote for similar action in Wisbech, where staff are set to down tools over the Easter weekend.

However, elsewhere a ballot at Asda’s Brighton Hollingbury store failed to reach the threshold required for industrial action. Meanwhile, at the Brighton Marina store, the GMB union achieved the minimum required turnout but decided not to progress any action.

Asda has claimed reports of staff morale problems and anger over pay, conditions and lack of union representation have been exaggerated. It said the 122 workers who voted for strike action in Lowestoft represented fewer than half of those employed at the store. 

Read more: Asda apologises for underpaying thousands of workers

GMB regional organiser Keith Dixon said: “Asda’s owners are not investing in stores and workers are paying the price.

“The evidence is clear: thousands of health and safety breaches, including blocked fire exits, fire routes, and fire extinguishers, along with faulty fire alarm systems.

“At the same time, workers face cuts to their hours and inadequate training.

“They’ve had enough and are walking out to make sure Asda listens.

“GMB is behind every one of our members within Asda Lowestoft in making sure their voices are heard and they are treated with the respect and dignity they deserve.”

An Asda spokesman said: “We value feedback from our colleagues and have worked collaboratively with the GMB representatives in Lowestoft to address the points raised.

“While we are disappointed by the outcome of the ballot, we will continue to engage with GMB representatives to try and reach an amicable solution.

“It is important to note that fewer than 50% of colleagues at the Lowestoft store have said they would support industrial action, and we can reassure colleagues and customers that we have comprehensive plans in place to minimise disruption in the event of industrial action at the store.”