Dozens of Asda workers in Dundee could be in line to lose their jobs at the weekend – if they don’t sign up to new terms and conditions.
Jenny Marra, Labour Party MSP for North East Scotland, has stepped into the row between workers and the supermarket giant.
She met with the regional people manager of the Myrekirk store, Gordon Goodsir, in a bid to save the jobs of local workers.
Ms Marra has now written a letter to Mr Goodsir demanding he withdraw the threat to terminate what is believed to be the contracts of 40 workers.
In her letter Ms Marra said: “I am writing to ask you to withdraw the threat of sacking before this weekend. It would be an abomination if a modern company in 2019 sacked 40 workers in Dundee for refusing to sign their terms and conditions.”
The row broke out after over 600 workers across three stores in the city were asked to sign a new contract. Of that number, it is believed around 40 have refused to do so.
Ms Marra’s letter continued: “You confirmed that those 40 will lose their jobs this weekend at midnight on Saturday November 2, if they do not sign your new contract that sees many of them lose money and all of them denigrate their terms and conditions at work.”
In April, workers were told they could be forced to take on a contract without bank holidays – or lose their jobs. Staff at the Milton of Craigie, Dundee West and Kirkton stores were told they may have to accept “contract six” or face being given 12 weeks’ notice if they did not agree.
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At the time Asda said the proposed move would bring all employees on to the same contract. Currently there are six contracts in operation, all with different terms and conditions.
Asda has claimed there are discrepancies in the figures provided by Ms Marra.
An Asda spokeswoman said: “This change represents an investment of over £80 million and an increase in real pay for over 100,000 of our hourly paid colleagues.
“Throughout the consultation process on these changes we have taken colleague concerns and feedback from colleague representatives on board and have been clear that we understand our colleagues have responsibilities outside of work and we will always help them balance these with their work life.
“We have been clear that we don’t want any of our colleagues to leave us and whilst the vast majority of colleagues have chosen to sign the new contract, we continue to have conversations with those who have chosen not to, to try and understand their concerns.
“It is vital that we make sure we are prepared to adapt to the demands of our market. Change is never easy, but we are determined that Asda remains a sustainable business for its customers and colleagues – now and in the future.”