Sunday, February 19, 2006

Corporate Watch: Asda

According to reports, Asda has been planning to 'undermine labour standards' by cutting work breaks, removing grievance mechanisms and undermining health and safety conditions. This should come as no surprise to observers of the business practices of its parent company, Wal-Mart, who have frequently undermined labour practices in the States for sometime. This strategy stretches to its relationship with the unions which has never been particularly good. In fact, Asda were fined £850,000 for offering illegal inducements to staff to disown their union. This is part of a growing trend in the retail sector in England to remove obstacles that prevent business leaders from increasing their profits at the expense of the worker. I would say to all workers in retail: "Join your union and start taking action against your employer". Although there are few powers left to the union, you can still take effective action about the harassment and bullying that is an every day occurrence in the retail industry. If not, the corporations will continue there growth, unchecked by the hands that feed them.