Unite and Asda join forces to end 'discrimination'

Multi-industry union Unite and supermarket giant Asda are launching a joint initiative to end “discrimination and unfair treatment” at Asda’s meat and poultry suppliers.

Unite and Asda are said to have met with all 29 of the suppliers to the supermarket in an to aim to move to a new business model of supply chain management, which will be “efficient, effective and which ensures workers are treated fairly and equally”.

Central to the joint initiative by Unite and Asda is agency workers and the directly employed being paid the same rate of pay.

A second key objective has been to maximise direct employment, ending seasonal fluctuations in the workplace.

Unite and Asda have also identified “unacceptable practices”, which Asda is said to have acted on to bring to an end.

Unite deputy general secretary Jack Dromey said: “We warmly welcome Asda’s pioneering initiative, which sends a clear message that one of Britain’s biggest supermarkets is determined to put ethical principles into practice.

The announcement comes as the first inquiry by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) is due to report this month on the English and Welsh meat industry.

Dromey added: "It is a matter of regret that, for most of Asda’s competitors, the word “ethical” is but a logo on the letterhead, which is not put seriously into practice.”

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