A Dundee MP has accused Asda management of “heavy-handed and forceful” tactics over controversial staff contract changes.
The new contracts could see the introduction of unpaid breaks and a requirement to work bank holidays.
Chris Law, who represents the Dundee West constituency, has written to the supermarket chain’s chief executive Roger Burnley to request a meeting after local residents raised “grave concerns” about the “imposition” of new terms.
The agreement, known as Contract 6, offers a better hourly rate and the continuation of a number of benefits but workers have said it will also cut holiday entitlement, reduce bank holiday and night shift pay, and could lead to a reduction in hours for some staff.
Thousands of workers across the country have been told they must sign up to the new contracts or face being sacked, prompting outrage and a large-scale union protest.
Mr Law said he was aware “many constituents” will be adversely affected by the changes.
He said: “I understand that following one-to-one meetings with their store management, staff have recently received letters requesting that they sign a new contract or be served with a 12-week notice to terminate their employment.
“Such an ultimatum has caused a great deal of undue stress and worry to my constituents, many of whom are longstanding members of staff that have given many years of loyal service to Asda.
“The Asda employees most affected will be those with young families, childcare responsibilities or those enrolled in higher education.”
Mr Law said these individuals often rely on working hours that suit their specific circumstances and the greater flexibility required under the new contract could mean they lose out on their current working patterns and hours.
He described the stipulation stuff must either sign up to the terms or face a 12-week notice to terminate as an “extreme measure that is undermining the relationship between Asda and its employees”.
Mr Burnley has also come under fire from Glasgow’s seven cross-party MPs after he refused to meet with them to discuss the contracts.
Asda management believes the new contract is necessary to “keep pace” with changes in the retail sector.
A spokesperson said: “The overwhelming majority of our colleagues have signed onto the new contracts and while we appreciate that some of our colleagues find the changes more unsettling, we do not want any of them to leave.
“We have been clear that we understand colleagues have commitments outside of work and will not be asking them to constantly move the time they work, their days or departments. Any changes will be with at least four weeks’ notice.
“This contract is about increasing the take-home pay of more than 100,000 retail colleagues, through an investment of more than £80 million, and ensuring that everyone doing the same job is on the same terms and conditions.”