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Sefton Central MP calls on ASDA to have a change of heart over new contract

ASDA staff in Aintree and Southport face losing their jobs on 2 November if bosses go ahead with unfair new contract

Sefton Central Labour MP, Bill Esterson has called on ASDA to withdraw their threat to sack workers including those who work at ASDA in Aintree and in Southport, who are unable to sign a new contract. ASDA wants to impose a new contract, so-called “Contract 6”, which removes paid breaks and makes working bank holidays mandatory. But for staff with caring responsibilities this causes real problems because they don’t have the flexibility which ASDA requires.

Bill Esterson MP said, “ASDA’s low paid staff are predominantly female, part-time workers. Many have childcare, caring, studying and other family commitments which doesn’t lend to this so called flexibility. I am very worried that many of my constituents who work at ASDA in Aintree and in Southport will lose their jobs because they are forced to choose between caring for family and working. This is causing real heartache and hardship for many staff and their families.

“Many Asda colleagues came to work for ASDA because they need flexibility, or work in other part-time jobs (for example as school support staff). They cannot move these with little notice and their costs will increase.

One Asda worker relies on regular hours to be able to care for her disabled son and husband.

The worker, who asked to remain anonymous, said, “My son has a very rare disorder which means I have to do everything for him. He is emotionally attached to me so when I have to leave him to go to work he can't cope and makes himself sick.

“If Asda forces me onto Contract 6, I'm worried I will have to leave so I can look after my family.”

Another ASDA colleague said, “My husband had an accident which left him with a neurological disorder - his mobility is poor and in constant pain.

On the afternoons I work, my son goes to an out of school club as my husband isn't able to look after him on his own.”

The GMB Union has been fighting for ASDA staff at Aintree and across the country. They are calling on ASDA to withdraw the contract and say that many of their members simply cannot sign it because of their caring responsibilities.

The GMB said, “Asda workers did not want this contract. No good employer imposes terms on their workforce that would harm their family.

“The company is forcing them to choose between caring for children or disabled family members and work because of this new contract”

Bill Esterson MP said, “Even at this late hour it is not too late for ASDA to respond. Thousands of people have written to Walmart, the owners of ASDA and pleaded with them to have a change of heart. I am adding my name to those calls on behalf of my constituents and their families. ASDA has a massive store in Aintree. It makes millions each year for the company. They should look after staff who are predominantly women who care for children and elderly and disabled relatives. ASDA should think again and withdraw this contract and the threat to sack their staff.”

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