The GMB Union has hit out at major supermarket chain ASDA and accused the company of threatening to sack 7000 employees if they do not accept a 'pay cut' amid a "fire and rehire threat".

The Union, which represents workers in a number of sectors like retail, said that ASDA was looking to tell workers in 39 stores across the South of England to take a cut to their pay.

It warned that affected workers would be forced to lose their 60p per hour 'location supplement'.

However, these changes for workers are subject to a consultation with the plans set to be introduced in November.

GMB says 'slash and burn tactics' will increase as it slams ASDA's 'debt laden' merger

Nadine Houghton, GMB Union Organiser, said: “Cutting the pay of 7,000 low-paid, retail workers during a cost-of-living crisis is inexcusable. 

“The billionaire Issa Brothers and their business partners the multi-millionaire elite private equity fund managers in TDR Capital are restructuring ASDA in preparation for the debt laden merger they are trying to push through with EG Group. 

“If the Business Secretary allows this merger to go ahead, she will be responsible for allowing a deal that is bad for workers, bad for consumers and bad for the high street. 

“These slash and burn tactics, along with food and fuel price increases, will only ramp up if the merger goes ahead. TDR and the Issa Brothers will be using ASDA’s revenues to pay off their debt mountain – this is money that should be invested in stores, colleagues and ensuring proper competition in pricing. 

The union added: “ASDA’s workers and consumers should not bear the brunt of financial engineering from private equity.” 

York Press: (PA) ASDA has said these changes are in the consultation phase(PA) ASDA has said these changes are in the consultation phase (Image: PA)

ASDA hits back at GMB claims as it proposes 'compensatory payment' for staff

ASDA has hit back, saying these proposals are still in the consultation phase with this having been the case since February.

The brand has said these changes are being proposed in areas with traditionally higher rates of pay because of their geography, adding that it is the only supermarket to pay a supplement to employees.

The consultation was announced alongside the proposal to increase the hourly rate for all staff by 10%, which it says made it the highest-paid store at the time.

In response to the claims made by GMB, an ASDA spokesperson said: “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.

"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.”