‘Third’ of Asda staff attacked at work

A third of Asda staff have been attacked at work, according to new figures from GMB.

After carrying out a poll of nearly 1,000 Asda staff, the trade union found that some staff had been bitten, stabbed, punched, and threatened with syringes whilst they were on shift.

GMB said that further testimony from its members revealed that some staff have also been spat at, suffered broken bones, been hit with bottles, and had death threats against them and their children.

In total, 339 people - 35 per cent - said they had been a victim of verbal or physical violence whilst carrying out their job role.

“These incidents are horrifying – no one should have suffer this kind of abuse and violence at work," said Nadine Houghton, GMB national officer. “But this situation is only going to get worse as staff hours are slashed, leaving less people in store and those who are there more vulnerable."

GMB claims that an estimated eight million staff hours have been cut by Asda and accuses the supermarket chain of poor fire hazard and hygiene standards.

“Unfortunately, like all retailers we have seen an increase and violence and aggression towards our colleagues during the last few years," said Asda. "The safety of our colleagues is a primary concern, which is why we have invested over £30 million during the last three years to upgrade the CCTV systems in stores."

It went on to say that the company has also provided staff with body-worn cameras; hired extra security guards in certain stores; and amended store opening times when required.

In May, workers at Asda Lowestoft took strike action for 48 hours over what has been described as a “litany of workplace issues”.

At the time, GMB said that workers walked out over a number of issues, including cuts to hours, “bullying management”, and poor quality training.

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