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ASDA Workers In Lanarkshire Could Take Action
If Asda workers take action on equal pay claims they would be following colleagues down south where 1000 staff or former employees have lodged tribunal claims against the firm.
The workers, many of them female and earning around £7 per hour, claim they are not paid the same rate as male colleagues in the distribution warehouses - despite equivalent jobs.
They are packing and upacking pallets of clothes and food and putting stock on shelves through the night.
But shop workers claim they are being paid around £4 per hour less than their male counterparts in warehouse who are unloading the same items from the trucks to the store.
The workers, many of them female, are being represented by law firm Leigh Day and, if successful, would receive a pay rise and also thousands of pounds in compensation as their claim would be backdated six years. In addition, interest could be around eight per cent.
ASDA stores in Lanarkshire include Newmains, Motherwell, Hamilton, Blantyre, Coatbridge and Cumbernauld, and many of the staff could be in line for a payout if the claims are successful.
John Gildea, of Gildea solicitors, said, "If these women win, it will have major ramifications for other supermarkets. Mr Gildea ,who has represented clients involved in an equal pay claim against South Lanarkshrie Council, added: “I am surprised that this is going on in this day and age. “The Equal Pay Act came into effect in the 1970s. I am surprised that nothing has changed since then.”
A spokeswoman for ASDA refuted the discrimination in pay.
“A firm of no-win, no-fee lawyers are hoping to challenge our award-winning reputation as an equal opportunities employer. We do not discriminate and are very proud of our record in this area which, if it comes to it, we will robustly defend.”
Last year, South Lanarkshire Council had to pay about £70m to 3500 employees in a long-running equal pay claim dispute.
And North Lanarkshire Council have paid out £38m to 6500 people.