Since the beginning of June we have had an increasing number of GMB union members contacting us, who are very anxious and concerned over what appears to be ever increasing numbers of customers in stores. Both myself and our National Union Reps, Cath and Jane have raised informally through the correct process, but the calls reporting this have increased mainly from the Manchester cluster stores, although not exclusively Manchester.
This week we have raised with the National Union Officer which resulted in a Zoom conference call today, which was attended by myself and Jane on behalf of the GMB Union North West & Irish Region, we were advised that Asda have been running trials in 2 clusters of stores, one group in London and one in North West - Manchester, where they are increasing the number of customers in store, this has been running since 2nd June, without any consultation or discussion with National Union Reps, GMB Union National Officer or Trade Union Regional Officer.
On the call today both myself and Jane made it very clear to the Company that this is totally unacceptable and not the way we expect to do business, there was a very full and frank discussion where our views were made very clear, moving forward it is obvious that the Company at some point are going to want to look at increasing customer numbers, however we will now be fully involved both in monitoring store numbers and collating feedback, so it is vital that if you find any issues arising in your store particularly in Manchester cluster and you are concerned with any aspect of it at all you must feedback to myself Jane and Cath to allow us to ensure that the Company are fully aware of any anxiety, concerns or in fact breach of process that you are aware of.
We have made it clear to the Company that during this process and beyond we expect them to maintain safety of all colleagues and that is why we insisted that where Reps are in trial stores they are included in the stores processes.
There is a Covid19 checklist that stores are now operating with and I will forward to all GMB Union Workplace Reps for information and use.
Please make sure that you are involved not just to protect your own health and safety but also all colleagues health and safety as well. Given that the North West is highlighted as a hot spot currently it is vital that we keep ahead of the curve wherever possible.
Thanks for your help and support.
Stay well, stay safe.
GMB trade union