UK supermarket Asda loses latest round of equal pay case Watch

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LONDON (Reuters) - British supermarket chain Asda, which is owned by Walmart, has lost a challenge at the Court of Appeal in the latest round of a long-running dispute with staff over equal pay for different roles.
https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-as...-idUKKCN1PP1JH

It's not the same thing to work in a warehouse pushing cages in and out in the middle of the night (mostly men) and sitting at the till in the warm at daytime (mostly women). The justice system have been contaminated with the crazed equalizing fever, nothing is immune from it these days. No right to appeal for Asda either, in itself quite a thing.

There will be consequences to this, I've only just looked it up and there is already an ad popping up offering legal assistance to claim from ASDA in this page. It will cost the supermarkets millions or more, we know who ends up paying for it all. In a way, they ought to face up to this by dragging everyone's pay to the lower level but of course that would be unfair on some.

Women v. Men, that's what made this ruling what it is. Enforced equality regardless of what people do, that is the pervading ethos in the public sector these days and it will spread beyond it by decree. Carrie Gracie is the modern version of Joan of Arc.
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Dandaman1
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Notice how they've avoided specifically making a gender discrimination case out of this. That's because there is literally no grounds for it. Instead they're having to make it about store staff and distribution centre staff.

Store staff do not have to operate forklifts. They don't have to work from heights. They are exposed to fewer hazards. They do less manual labour. A lot of them are just seventeen-year-olds sitting at checkout counters, for crying out loud.
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ThomH97
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I'm not sure what the issue is or why ASDA has been fighting this bit. The only explicit bit is "an earlier ruling that Asda store staff can compare their roles with those in distribution centres" which I agree with, even if I can see obviously there's a difference. A cashier can compare themselves to the shift manager if they want, but it'd be very easy to point out the differences that justify (some of?) the pay difference.

And that indeed is the "next stage - assessing whether store and distribution centre roles are of equal value". This is where I expect the case to crash and burn, and if it doesn't, that'll be where the focus should be as anyone with half a brain can see the differences in hazards, manual labour, hours and being able to talk to people to name a few.
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DSilva
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(Original post by zhog)
https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-as...-idUKKCN1PP1JH

. No right to appeal for Asda either, in itself quite a thing.
From the article you've just linked:

'Asda said it was disappointed with the decision and would apply to the Supreme Court to appeal the judgment.'

Perhaps you should actually read the article yourself. They have the same right to apply for an appeal as anyone else does after judgement against them.
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Just my opinion
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So women working at the warehouse distribution centre earn the same money, when doing the same job, as men working at the warehouse distribution centre.
Meanwhile women working in the supermarkets earn the same money, when doing the same job, as men working in the supermarkets.
Women are free to choose to work in either the supermarkets or distribution centres.

What's the problem?
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username1738683
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(Original post by DSilva)
From the article you've just linked:

'Asda said it was disappointed with the decision and would apply to the Supreme Court to appeal the judgment.'

Perhaps you should actually read the article yourself. They have the same right to apply for an appeal as anyone else does after judgement against them.
From the same link:

Following Thursday's ruling, the Court of Appeal denied Asda the right to appeal.
Keep trying.
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(Original post by Just my opinion)
So women working at the warehouse distribution centre earn the same money, when doing the same job, as men working at the warehouse distribution centre.
Meanwhile women working in the supermarkets earn the same money, when doing the same job, as men working in the supermarkets.
Women are free to choose to work in either the supermarkets or distribution centres.

What's the problem?
If there is a problem, it is that the courts have a different way of looking at it.
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DSilva
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(Original post by zhog)
From the same link:



Keep trying.
It doesn't say that anywhere in the article you linked to...

They have the right to apply to the Supreme Court for an appeal... As was written in the article you linked.

Perhaps you should 'try again'. It's amazing really, you make a factually incorrect statement and then post an article which contradicts your own argument.

But it's rather unsurprising to see you take the side of big business underpaying their staff.
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Acsel
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(Original post by Dandaman1)
Store staff do not have to operate forklifts. They don't have to work from heights. They are exposed to fewer hazards. They do less manual labour. A lot of them are just seventeen-year-olds sitting at checkout counters, for crying out loud.
I'm not disagreeing with the premise, on floor staff do a totally different job to say warehouse or night staff and that should be reflected in pay.

But it's not quite as simple as "store staff don't have to do these things". I used to work for a different supermarket chain, in a small store. We didn't have a night staff, all our floor staff would do the things you've described. We had powered trucks for moving pallets. One person would be responsible for unloading our delivery truck (still a 40 foot lorry) in the morning. On occasion, when nobody else was in and I was doing price control work I'd be up ladders affixing ceiling mounted promotional material. We'd regularly be moving empty roll cages and heavy delivery loads. Some staff would exclusively work in the cold. I worked on fresh foods for 4 years, even with 2 layers of protective gloves it has damaged my hands (that was several years ago and I still have to be careful in the cold). I think there's also an argument for the mental strain fo working checkouts all day. It is exceptionally dreary.

I'm not saying any of that compares to long overnight shifts and doing extensive manual labour but don't underestimate what the floor staff go through. Not everyone is a 17 year old kid on a checkout.
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(Original post by DSilva)
It doesn't say that anywhere in the article you linked to...

They have the right to apply to the Supreme Court for an appeal... As was written in the article you linked.

Perhaps you should 'try again'. It's amazing really, you make a factually incorrect statement and then post an article which contradicts your own argument.

But it's rather unsurprising to see you take the side of big business underpaying their staff.
You're right, it was from a BBC link that says ASDA were denied the right to appeal the ruling we're talking about. Also, I heard it in their news bulletin on the day, that ASDA had been denied the right to appeal the ruling. So now they are going to appeal against the denial of the right to appeal.

That you find no better opening is satisfactory, reveals a lack of arguments against the topic despite the best of intentions to argue against it.
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(Original post by Acsel)
I'm not disagreeing with the premise, on floor staff do a totally different job to say warehouse or night staff and that should be reflected in pay.
So you are with ASDA on this one, is that right?
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(Original post by Acsel)
I'm not disagreeing with the premise, on floor staff do a totally different job to say warehouse or night staff and that should be reflected in pay.

But it's not quite as simple as "store staff don't have to do these things". I used to work for a different supermarket chain, in a small store. We didn't have a night staff, all our floor staff would do the things you've described. We had powered trucks for moving pallets. One person would be responsible for unloading our delivery truck (still a 40 foot lorry) in the morning. On occasion, when nobody else was in and I was doing price control work I'd be up ladders affixing ceiling mounted promotional material. We'd regularly be moving empty roll cages and heavy delivery loads. Some staff would exclusively work in the cold. I worked on fresh foods for 4 years, even with 2 layers of protective gloves it has damaged my hands (that was several years ago and I still have to be careful in the cold). I think there's also an argument for the mental strain fo working checkouts all day. It is exceptionally dreary.

I'm not saying any of that compares to long overnight shifts and doing extensive manual labour but don't underestimate what the floor staff go through. Not everyone is a 17 year old kid on a checkout.
Your situation sounds exceptional, however, and would generally not be the case with these larger retailers. These things are not typically in a cashier's job description nor that of most other front store staff.

Occasionally we have to do things we wouldn't normally be expected to do. So did I when I worked at a retailer. But we don't get the full salary of someone who was hired to do it full time at a warehouse. That's just not how it works.

And yes, checkouts are certainly brain-killing and I have horrible memories of 8 hour shifts back in the day, but a chimp could still do it. It's not particularly hard work.
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(Original post by zhog)
You're right, it was from a BBC link that says ASDA were denied the right to appeal the ruling we're talking about. Also, I heard it in their news bulletin on the day, that ASDA had been denied the right to appeal the ruling. So now they are going to appeal against the denial of the right to appeal.

That you find no better opening is satisfactory, reveals a lack of arguments against the topic despite the best of intentions to argue against it.
Are you opposed to poorly paid staff being paid more?
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Acsel
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(Original post by zhog)
So you are with ASDA on this one, is that right?
As I've said, I'm not familiar with the exact situation so I'm not taking sides. I don't have any issue paying different rates for different jobs, that's fundamentally no different to paying managers more than normal staff for example. But I'm not familiar with the story and don't work at Asda so I'm not going to say which side I'm in support of.
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(Original post by Dandaman1)
Your situation sounds exceptional, however, and would generally not be the case with these larger retailers.
I agree that it wouldn't happen in larger stores, and Asda typically only has large stores. But it's certainly not exceptional within retail. Smaller local stores and even many small supermarkets don't employ night staff. The general store staff are responsible for everything, whether that's being a cashier or unloading the delivery. In the case of local stores that may only have a couple of staff in at any given time, it's not uncommon for a manager to jump on a till in between putting out a delivery, which generally won't happen in larger stores. Smaller stores don't have the funding to employ dedicated staff on each department and the smaller the store, the more varied your job is likely to be.

(Original post by Dandaman1)
Occasionally we have to do things we wouldn't normally be expected to do. So did I when I worked at a retailer. But we don't get the full salary of someone who was hired to do it full time at a warehouse. That's just not how it works.
I'm not saying that they should. As I said, I understand that even someone in a position like mine wouldn't get paid the same as someone in a distribution warehouse. I don't have a problem with that. I'm just saying that the "store staff don't operate forklifts, do less manual labour, are mostly 17 year olds sat on checkouts" doesn't accurately represent what retail staff do.


(Original post by Dandaman1)
And yes, checkouts are certainly brain-killing and I have horrible memories of 8 hour shifts back in the day, but a chimp could still do it. It's not particularly hard work.
Again, I'm not saying it's hard work. I'm just saying mental fatigue can be considered alongside physical fatigue. I have nothing against the wages paid in retail. If I went back to my old job (which was the lowest paid position) I'd still be on something like £9 an hour which is more than enough. All entry level retail jobs are fundamentally unskilled, hence why realistically anyone can do them and there's no need to pay them highly. I have no problems with the wages paid to retail staff (based on my understanding) and think it's perfectly adequate for the work and responsibility involved.
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joey11223
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(Original post by Dandaman1)
Your situation sounds exceptional, however, and would generally not be the case with these larger retailers. These things are not typically in a cashier's job description nor that of most other front store staff.

Occasionally we have to do things we wouldn't normally be expected to do. So did I when I worked at a retailer. But we don't get the full salary of someone who was hired to do it full time at a warehouse. That's just not how it works.

And yes, checkouts are certainly brain-killing and I have horrible memories of 8 hour shifts back in the day, but a chimp could still do it. It's not particularly hard work.
I imagine it depends on the retailer, but I worked for Iceland for years. In their business all store staff got paid the same wage (bar home delivery drivers) and were all called customer service employees or whatever the role was. This was because technically everyone could use the tills as everyone got till trained, but some were mainly put on stock and some pretty much exclusively on tills. I used to start at 5am as that's when the delvery wagon would arrive with its pallets of frozen, grocery & chilled items. We'd have to drag all the pallets into the store, up the lift etc alone, many 1+tonnes. Then for example I tended to do frozen deliveries, so you'd have say roughly 4 pallets taller than you of stock which you'd then put away in the large freezer room alone. It would take over an hour to a couple depending on delivery size. In that situation bar warehouse workers getting paid a night rate, I'd feel I'd deserve something pretty similiar to them, since you knew the girls (the company had a basically unspoken rule of girls on tills, guys unloading stock) where sitting on the till while you were freezing your arse off at -30c with giant fans blowing a gale in your face haha. Maybe some ASDA staff feel the same, I used to know someone at Tesco and all their in-shop staff where paid the same, again regardless of if they did tills or stock like me.
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username1738683
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(Original post by Acsel)
As I've said, I'm not familiar with the exact situation so I'm not taking sides. I don't have any issue paying different rates for different jobs, that's fundamentally no different to paying managers more than normal staff for example. But I'm not familiar with the story and don't work at Asda so I'm not going to say which side I'm in support of.
I'm sure you appreciate the wider consequences of this ruling, though. This is the State ordering a private business to consider 'equal' what they and most of us define as 'unequal', where does it end? The compo drive is now on, with the legal suits rubbing their hands in glee, this could and will spill onto other parts of the business world with the assistance of the unions, the consequences could be far-reaching.

I agree that there isn't much info in the news we get, hopefully someone will dig the State's arguments from the courtroom.
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(Original post by DSilva)
Are you opposed to poorly paid staff being paid more?
Of course not, nobody is. Do you know anyone at all who is?
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(Original post by zhog)
Of course not, nobody is. Do you know anyone at all who is?
Well you seem to be in this case. This judgement would give some rather poorly paid people some very welcome backpay.
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(Original post by DSilva)
Well you seem to be in this case. This judgement would give some rather poorly paid people some very welcome backpay.
I have a question for you, if you don' mind: why do ASDA pay distribution centre staff more than shop staff?
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