One in three Asda staff members attacked at work, survey reveals

Poll of almost 1,000 GMB members found staff have been stabbed, punched and threatened with syringes.

One in three Asda staff members attacked at work, GMB poll reveals iStock

Workers at Asda have been stabbed, punched and threatened with syringes according to a survey which shows one in three has been attacked at work. 

In the poll of almost 1,000 Asda staff, workers revealed how they had been spat at, suffered broken bones, been hit with bottles and had death threats against them and their children. 

Delivery drivers have been chased by people in cars and been confronted by customers in the nude, while store workers have had watermelons and joints of gammon thrown at them. 

In total, 339 people polled by the GMB union (35%) said they had been a victim of verbal or physical violence whilst carrying out their job role. 

The results of the survey – which will be discussed at at GMB’s annual congress on Tuesday – also saw 58% of respondents said they had suffered injury or illness at work 

Nadine Houghton, GMB national officer, said: “These incidents are horrifying – no one should have to suffer this kind of abuse and violence at work. 

“But this situation is only going to get worse as staff hours are slashed, leaving less people in the store and those who are there more vulnerable. 

“An estimated eight million staff hours have been cut by Asda as the owners – TDR capital – desperately try to pay the interest on billions of pounds worth of debt. 

“Meanwhile workers and customers suffer health and safety breaches, fire hazard and hygiene standards plummeting. 

“Asda staff on the front line and customers in the aisles are the ones who bear the brunt of this financial chicanery.”

An Asda spokesperson said: “Unfortunately, like all retailers we have seen an increase and violence and aggression towards our colleagues during the last few years. The safety of our colleagues is a primary concern, which is why we have invested over £30m during the last three years to upgrade the CCTV systems in stores. We have also provided colleagues with body-worn cameras, hired extra security guards in certain stores and amended store opening times when required.

“We work with all of our colleague representatives in the important area of colleague security and also back calls for violence or abuse against retail workers to be made a standalone criminal offence in all parts of the UK and hope this is a priority for any incoming government.”

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