Asda staff could be threatened with the sack if they don’t agree to a pay cut, according to the GMB union.
The supermarket chain confirmed it was considering ending a 60p-per-hour supplement paid to some workers in the South East of England.
They have been paid the extra money for many years to make up for the higher cost of living near London.
However, Asda said it was now “out of line with the wider retail market” and meant some staff in stores close to each other were paid differently.
Some 7,000 people from 39 stores face a “fire and rehire” scenario and will be threatened with dismissal if they refuse the lower pay, the GMB claimed.
“Cutting staff pay during a cost of living crisis is shameful. And threatening them with fire and rehire tactics is inexcusable,” the union said.
The GMB said Asda also wanted to reduce workers’ night supplement, with the wage cuts reportedly being lined up for November.
Asda said it was discussing the proposed pay cut with staff and that they could be offered compensation if it goes through.
“We are holding a collective consultation in a small number of stores outside the M25 where colleagues are currently paid a legacy location supplement of 60p per hour on top of their existing rate of £11.00 per hour,” said a spokesperson.
“This supplement is out of line with the wider retail market and has created an anomaly where some Asda colleagues in stores that are close together are paid different rates.
“As part of this consultation, we are discussing a compensatory payment for colleagues in return for the removal of this location supplement, if the proposal goes ahead. These discussions are ongoing and no final decision has been taken.”
Asda used to be owned by US retail giant Walmart but was taken over by the Issa brothers and TDR Capital in 2021.