Asda faces the threat of an employment tribunal following its axing of 1,400 head office and store management jobs.
The GMB union claimed that the manner in which Asda had carried out the cuts was in breach of employment law because there was no 90-day consultation period.
However, Asda said it was satisfied that it was complying with all consultation obligations. The union said it had received 50 calls from affected workers and it had taken out newspaper ads to encourage others to come forward.
GMB Yorkshire region officer Neil Derrick said: “Some people have been given one month’s notice and others three months, but we believe each has the potential to win an unfair dismissal claim based on the complete absence of proper notification or consultation. We deal with every case individually but are also adding each name to a list to bring a collective claim to an employment tribunal for 90 days’ pay.”
Last week’s job cuts, which amounts to the loss of 200 HQ jobs and five management roles per store, was followed by the announcement that Asda is creating 2,250 shop floor jobs. Derrick said the GMB had been talking with Asda about plans to cut the equivalent number of hours just last month.
But an Asda spokeswoman said: “Each one of Asda’s 279 stores is set to recruit eight new colleagues in frontline customer service roles.” In addition to these new jobs, Asda said it would have created 5,000 jobs through new store openings by the end of 2005.
Fiona McLelland