GMB union letter to new ASDA owners, debt concern by National rep Nadine Houghton
Dear GMB members,
I wanted to share with you a letter that I am today sending to Asda's owners - the Issa brothers. The GMB is concerned that saddling Asda with more debt could prove detrimental to our members jobs and conditions. We are seeking an urgent meeting with the Issa brothers to discuss this - and the sale and leaseback of the distribution centres.
Please read below:
'Dear Mohsin and Zuber Issa
I am writing to introduce myself as the new national officer for the GMB responsible for Asda. I'm looking forward to working with you and hope we can begin the relationship in an open and constructive fashion.
I am also writing regarding the sale of the petrol forecourts which has fallen through; leaving Asda now saddled with a further £500m of debt.
This, on top of the sale and leaseback of the distribution centres, compounds uncertainty about the future stability of our members employment.
You will of course be aware of the vital role our members have played throughout the pandemic; you will also know that our members have been through an exceedingly tough time with the imposition of 'Contract 6' in the stores.
Distribution and retail workers are now in short supply, and more than any other time, it makes sense to ensure your loyal colleagues feel secure and valued.
I hope that you can agree to a meeting with GMB representatives to discuss what the added debt and sale and leaseback of the distribution centres means for the future of Asda's staff and what steps you will be taking to secure our members employment considering the financial circumstances.
I look forward to hearing from you.
GMB trade union