All Asda workers in Dundee could be forced to take on a contract without bank holidays – or lose their jobs.
Staff at Milton of Craigie, Dundee West and Kirkton stores have been told they might have to accept “contract six” or be given 12 weeks’ notice if they do not agree.
Staff are now entering a collective consultation period lasting a minimum of 45 days.
Workers at Dundee’s Milton of Craigie store told the Tele morale is low, which the current consultation is “further exacerbating”.
One employee said: “Front-end staff have just had a cut in hours and we’re not paid for breaks any more, so we’re losing hours already. Shifts are being changed at short notice, sometimes the day before, or we’re being asked if we want to go home early.
“Contract six does pay £1 more per hour, but we would lose time and a half for working bank holidays, so it works out as less pay overall – and we wouldn’t have the option not to work bank holidays.”
The only bank holidays which workers on contract six qualify for are Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day, paid at double time.
Asda said the proposed move would bring all employees on to the same contract, as currently there are six contracts in operation, all with different terms and conditions.
There are 150 staff at the Milton of Craigie store who declined to move on to contract six, another 80 employees at the Dundee West shop and a further 85 workers at the Kirkton site.
The employee added: “We feel as if we’re being bullied into signing it. If we had taken it in 2017 when it was first introduced, then we would have had that £1 extra per hour for all that time, but we didn’t take it because we wanted to keep our bank holidays.”
Anthony Hemmerdinger, senior vice-president of Asda operations, said: “Over the past two years, we’ve embedded the new ways of working into our stores and listened to feedback from those of our colleagues who felt the new contract wasn’t right for them.
“We’ve listened and learned from our colleagues and made changes to address their concerns about what ‘flexibility’ looks like.
“We won’t ask them to work in a different shop, or change their hours or rota at no notice.
“We also respect that colleagues have a life and commitments outside of work.”
An Asda spokesman confirmed that the supermarket proposes to provide a transitional payment for staff who may be worse off under the proposals, which it will agree during the consultation process.
He added: “We are currently consulting with our colleagues and their representatives over a proposal to invest in an increased rate of pay and changes to terms and conditions, which would enable us to deliver better service to our customers in an intensely competitive marketplace and would make 95% of our colleagues financially better off.
“This consultation is ongoing and we will always have conversations about change with our colleagues first.”