Press Centre

ASDA's Northern Ireland Colleagues Say "Yes" To New Terms & Conditions

ASDA has today announced that its 2,500-strong NI workforce has voted to accept the retailer’s new terms and conditions package, which was agreed in conjunction with USDAW (Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers).

This follows negotiation between ASDA and USDAW shop stewards from the stores and is the first step towards integrating local colleagues into ASDA’s UK-wide network.

“We are delighted that agreement has been reached with our colleagues, who, as the ‘face’ of ASDA, are so vital to our customers and to the success of our stores,” said Brenda Peake, ASDA’s NI Divisional People Manager.

“During the negotiation process, we’ve developed a close working partnership with USDAW representatives and our focus at all times has been on securing a package of terms and conditions which is fair, representative and beneficial to all. This positive result reflects the effectiveness of our joint negotiation process.

“In the five months that we’ve been operational in NI, our stores have exceeded all our expectations and today’s announcement marks another key milestone for our colleagues and our business as a whole.”

After acquiring Safeway’s 13 NI stores from Wm Morrison in June 2005, ASDA retained 2,000 of its predecessor’s colleagues but has since increased its total NI workforce to more than 2,500. All colleagues participated in ASDA’s bespoke training programme at the company’s dedicated training centre in Belfast.

Under the new terms & conditions, colleagues will be able to take advantage of a number of benefits ranging from increased hourly rates and improved holiday entitlement to enhanced arrangements for those on long-term sick leave. Other benefits to be introduced include an all-colleague bonus scheme and other incentives, including a discount card for every colleague, offering ten per cent off their weekly shop, and access to the company sharesave scheme. In line with ASDA’s policies on flexible working and work/life balance, the company will also offer enhanced paternity and bereavement leave.

Adding his support to the workforce’s decision, John Hannett, general secretary of USDAW said: “This is a new agreement with ASDA and we’re pleased the company has recognised the massive efforts our members have made to help smoothly manage the change of ownership. The negotiations have gone well resulting in a good deal for our members in ASDA so we will continue to focus on recruiting more members in Northern Ireland and working with the company to improve conditions in the future.”

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For further information:
Jennifer England, ASDA Press Office, 0113 241 9335

Posted in Press Centre on 05 May 2006