LONDON, March 13 Asda, the British supermarket
owned by Wal-Mart, is offering staff in its stores a 14
percent rise in hourly pay, if they sign a contract requiring
more flexible working.
Britain's No. 3 supermarket said on Monday it will offer its
135,000 store staff a base rate of 8.50 pounds ($10.39) an hour
from October, up from 7.44 pounds.
The new rate is 1 pound above the government mandated
National Living Wage increase which comes into effect April 1.
The new contract will require Asda staff to work in
different parts of stores and different days or hours, including
public holidays. All breaks will also move to being unpaid.
Asda's move comes as the Bank of England is closely watching
a pick-up in inflation for signs it might fuel higher pay
Asda said that 95 percent of current employees will be
better off if they move to the new contract. If they do not,
their base rate will move up to the minimum national rate of
7.50 pounds and they will retain their existing contract.
Asda, which trails market leader Tesco and
Sainsbury's by annual sales, has been the sector
laggard for the last two years.
However, a trading update last month showed it had stemmed
the pace of sales decline, suggesting new CEO Sean Clarke's
focus on pricing and product quality was starting to have an
($1 = 0.8181 pounds)
(Reporting by James Davey; Editing by Alexander Smith)