Asda is reducing the hourly pay of 1,500 grocery delivery drivers.
Despite the cost of living crisis, the decrease is more than 12 percent.
The UK’s third largest supermarket chain is discontinuing a £1.50-per-hour premium that was implemented in the summer.
This was done in order to attract and retain drivers who deliver groceries to homes from certain London stores.
This included Charlton, Wembley, and Colindale, as well as locations in Bristol and along the south coast.
The premium to drivers’ hourly rate of £10.10, which began in July, was supposed to last until at least Christmas, but it is being phased out on Friday, October 21.
Asda stated that the higher rate was implemented for drivers in those areas due to “higher levels of job market challenge than average.”
The extra payments were implemented as a trial in July and were discontinued because “they did not deliver the desired results.”
Nadine Houghton, national officer of the GMB union, which represents many Asda delivery drivers, said: “Asda’s attempt to address its driver shortage was a sticking plaster that was never going to work. Asda needs to address the fundamental issue: driver pay is much lower than other retailers – as is their shop-floor pay.
“A temporary or one-off payment was never going to go far enough and entice drivers at a time when they are in high demand. Drivers need to be paid competitive rates for the job or they will continue to find work elsewhere.”
The reduction comes as supermarkets and other retailers report a decrease in online orders.
This occurred as consumers resumed their habit of visiting stores following the lifting of pandemic lockdown restrictions.
It was recently revealed that some Asda employees were forced to skip household bill payments and take out loans.
Furthermore, some people rely on food banks to get through the month because of regular payroll errors that have resulted in some people being underpaid by £500 or more.
At the time, Asda apologised and said it was taking steps to ensure it never happened again.
The supermarket is under pressure to raise pay for store employees after competitors such as Tesco, Aldi, and Lidl all raised pay for the second time this year in response to the cost of living crisis.
In July, Asda raised pay to £10.10 per hour following a GMB union campaign that identified the supermarket as the lowest-paying of the big chains.
It has since dropped back to that position after Morrisons increased pay from £10 an hour to £10.20 this month and Sainsbury’s raised its hourly rate to £10.25.
Source: The Guardian