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GMB members vote for industrial action in ballot to support Asda George shop steward at Ince, Wigan

GMB members employed in the ASDA George distribution depot have voted by 61% to 39% in support of strike action and by 83% to 17% in support of industrial action short of a strike. The vote was conducted by the Electoral Reform Balloting Services in an official industrial action ballot called by the GMB to secure the complete re-instatement of suspended GMB Shop Steward Gary Belshaw.

Earlier this week the company announced that as a result of a disciplinary hearing the company were lifting the suspension and that Gary could return to work. However, the company said they were going to issue a final written warning and would no longer be prepared to recognize Gary as the GMB Shop Steward. The official industrial action ballot result was expected yesterday and the result is as set out above.

GMB officials in Lancashire Region will meet next week to discuss the ballot result and to plan what form the industrial action should take and when it should happen. In the meantime the officials will convey the ballot result to the ASDA management and seek discussions to resolve the dispute.

Paul Kenny, GMB Acting General Secretary said, “Neither ASDA or any other employer will be permitted to say who the GMB shop stewards will be. Neither ASDA or any other employer will be permitted to victimize GMB Shop Stewards.

On Monday 6th June ASDA management at Ince provoked GMB members when they unilaterally demanded, without warning or consultation, an increase in the picking rate from 1,100 to 1,400 per 8 hour shift. If as a consequence of this provocation they persist in victimizing the GMB Shop Steward they will face industrial action at ASDA George at Ince. The only alternative is to return to the status quo that existed before Monday 6th June.”

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