GMB Slams ASOS Sweetheart Deal

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Union brands move by Community Union a ‘get out of jail free’ card for bad employers ahead of select committee inquiries.

GMB, the union for ASOS workers, has slammed a sweetheart deal struck by Community Union and ASOS logistics firm XPO which was announced yesterday.

GMB has run a sustained, TUC backed campaign over a period of two years, highlighting the exploitation of agency work and the poor, unsafe conditions ASOS workers face at the company’s Barnsley distribution centre.

GMB’s campaign has already resulted in changes to ‘flex’ time in the warehouse, to team leaders having to address age discrimination and to the company abandoning plans for constant monitoring.

It has mobilised thousands of people online, including MPs, Peers and has received high profile coverage for investigations with BuzzFeed and holding a ‘Catwalk of Shame’ at the company’s AGM earlier this year.

GMB claims the sweetheart deal is timed to give ASOS boss Nick Beighton cover as he is set to appear before the Joint Human Rights Committee tomorrow and undermines the basic right of workers to choose their union – not have a convenient choice for the employers foisted on them from above.

Barnsley is a town with a proud union history - and workers there are as puzzled as anyone that Community have turned up at the ASOS warehouse today for the first time, desperately trying to give away free union membership.

Tim Roache, GMB General Secretary said:

“This is utterly disgraceful behaviour by the employer and by Community, who need to have a word with themselves if they think this will help a single worker in Barnsley.

“GMB represents hundreds of ASOS workers, we’ve been on the gates day in day out and have already forced the company to change some of its appalling employment practices.

“It’s been a high profile campaign on the ground and in the press, exposing what’s wrong at ASOS, I’m not surprised they want us to go away.

“Unfortunately for ASOS that’s not how it works.

“That Community are behaving more like bosses’ lackeys than a union is probably why the company has carved up this nice little deal to give themselves some cover.

“Community has turned up for the first time today and is literally having to give away membership - that says it all.

“Workers there are as puzzled as anyone as to what they're playing at.

“It’s workers, not their bosses, who choose their union – it’s called the right to freedom of association.

“We won’t be abandoning our members now, or ever.”


Contact: GMB Press Office on 07958 156846 or at

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