What the papers say: Deadlock in Asda spat with union

There was no clear leader in the media propaganda war between supermarket retailer Asda and the GMB union in their dispute over national collective bargaining.

The threat of a five-day strike by depot workers, aimed at disrupting supplies during the World Cup quarter-finals, a time of expected heavy demand for snacks and alcohol, raised the spectre of empty shelves at Asda.

‘Empty shelves in days’ (Sunderland Echo, 22 June); ‘It’s Asda strike!’ (Huddersfield Daily Examiner, 22 June). ‘The union’s aim is to strip the shelves of fresh produce and alcohol’ noted The Times (24 June). Round one to the GMB. Asda’s retaliatory move was dubbed ‘the latest bad-tempered skirmish before the real battle’ (The Times, 24 June), but successfully grabbed the all-important weekend headlines: ‘Asda threatens to sue over “flawed” strike ballot’ (The Guardian, 24 June).

The supermarket’s assurances that customers would not notice any disruption due to contingency plans, and that it would bus staff through picket lines, ensured that round two went to Asda.

With both sides locked in an increasingly bitter war of words, it seems unlikely that either will emerge victorious.

Analysis conducted by Echo Research from data supplied to PRWeek from NewsNow.

www.echoresearch.com www.newsnow.co.uk

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