A recent survey conducted by the GMB union has brought to light the alarming levels of violence and abuse faced by ASDA workers.

According to the poll, which included responses from nearly 1,000 ASDA staff members, one in three has been attacked while on the job.

The survey details a harrowing array of incidents: workers have been bitten, stabbed, punched, and even threatened with syringes.

Many have endured spitting, broken bones, and being hit with bottles. Some employees have received death threats directed at themselves and their children.

Delivery drivers have faced dangerous situations such as being chased by people in cars and confronted by customers in the nude.

Store workers reported having items like watermelons and joints of gammon thrown at them.

Out of the 978 respondents, 339 (35%) reported experiencing verbal or physical violence in the course of their duties. Also, a staggering 58 percent indicated they had suffered injury or illness at work.

The findings of this survey was a central topic of discussion at the GMB’s annual congress in Bournemouth on the 11th June.

“These incidents are horrifying”

Nadine Houghton, GMB National Officer, expressed deep concern over the survey results, stating, “These incidents are horrifying – no one should have to suffer this kind of abuse and violence at work. But this situation is only going to get worse as staff hours are slashed, leaving fewer people in store and those who are there more vulnerable.”

Houghton pointed out that an estimated eight million staff hours have been cut by ASDA as its owners, TDR Capital, strive to manage debt payments. She warned that these cuts have led to serious health and safety breaches, including fire hazards and declining hygiene standards, affecting both employees and customers.

“Asda staff on the front line and customers in the aisles are the ones who bear the brunt of this financial chicanery,” Houghton added, underscoring the urgent need for action to address these issues.






Amelia Brand is the Editor for HRreview, and host of the HR in Review podcast series. With a Master’s degree in Legal and Political Theory, her particular interests within HR include employment law, DE&I, and wellbeing within the workplace. Prior to working with HRreview, Amelia was Sub-Editor of a magazine, and Editor of the Environmental Justice Project at University College London, writing and overseeing articles into UCL’s weekly newsletter. Her previous academic work has focused on philosophy, politics and law, with a special focus on how artificial intelligence will feature in the future.