Wal Mart: Cut Price Employees?

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The supermarket giant Asda, a subsidiary of Wal-Mart, has recently taken over 12 Safeway stores in Northern Ireland. It has also been ordered to pay £850,000 in compensation to staff at their huge distribution centre at Washington in the north east of England340 employees had been offered a once-off 10% pay increase if they agreed to give up a bargaining agreement enjoyed by their union, the GMB.

The workers overwhelmingly rejected the offer and subsequently took industrial action that won a 5 % pay increase. In addition an employment tribunal ordered the company to pay £2,500 a head in compensation.

Our unions leave a lot to be desired, but even a bad union is better than no union. If unions are no use anymore, as some will tell us, why do the bosses try so hard to break them?


From Workers Solidarity 91, March/April 2006
PDF file online at http://www.wsm.ie/sites/default/files/ws91.pdf