Asda Cannock

Source: Asda

Asda is to face a second grilling by MPs after failing to provide adequate information over its alleged ‘fire and rehire’ tactics.

Last week, Asda chief commercial officer Kris Comerford assured MPs on the Business & Trade Committee that “fire and rehire tactics are not something Asda employs”, despite the company being at the centre of a row over its plans to axe a pay premium for staff based in the south east.

The supermarket is consulting to end a “legacy” agreement with staff at 39 stores outside the M25, who have historically been hit with higher cost of living expenses. The GMB union claims Asda has already told workers at the stores they will lose their 60p per hour of the ‘middle band’ supplement’, saying the move will be introduced in November.

Asda co-owner Mohsin Issa said he was “disappointed” after the committee requested more evidence from Asda about the dispute.

“We are disappointed to hear that the committee feels there are discrepancies in our evidence and have provided them with a detailed response to their letter requesting a further interview,” he said.

“Our consultation on legacy payments in a small number of stores in the south east is ongoing and our objective remains to reach a compensatory payment for colleagues impacted. This remains a live consultation and we would not comment further in order to not prejudice its outcome.”

GMB national officer Nadine Houghton praised the intervention by MPs in the case“GMB welcomes the committee’s decision to recall Asda over their comments during the committee hearing on 27 June,” she said.

“Workers in 39 Asda stores across the south east are currently being asked to accept a 60p per hour pay cut. Asda has told these members if they do not accept the pay cut, the discredited practice of fire and rehire will be used to impose it.

“If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it is normally a duck.”

It is the second time within a week Asda has been accused of failing to provide adequate information to inquiries, coming days after the CMA fined the retailer £60,000 for two different allegations of failing to co-operate properly with its inquiry on petrol prices.