Tesco has confirmed that it will not agree to a unionisation of its drivers, which is part of the ongoing dispute with the ASWU.
In a statement, the company said: “The ASWUB, a recognised trade union and independent trade union body, will not be negotiating with us.”
“Tesco is an iconic company, a global supermarket, and we are proud to represent its employees and shareholders in our many markets across Australia,” the statement continued.
“We recognise the rights of all of our employees to seek a fair and sustainable workplace, and will be working to resolve this issue.”
Asda has confirmed to Business Insider that it is planning to continue negotiating with the union.
“Asda is committed to working with ASWUMC, and is fully committed to the rights and wellbeing of our drivers,” a spokesperson told us.
“It’s important to recognise that the negotiations between ASWUPC and Tesco are not yet over.
We will be continuing to work closely with the team at ASWUND, as well as our colleagues in the unions across the UK and the European Union.”
The ASWWU represents more than 300,000 members in more than 40 countries.
The company has long been accused of labour exploitation in Australia, and has long denied any wrongdoing.
But ASWUU president Paul Murphy said that Tesco’s move to re-sign with the group is a step in the right direction.
“The move by Tesco and Asda is a great step forward for workers’ rights in Australia,” he said.
“At a time when we are struggling to balance jobs with wages, and our economy is slowing down, this is the right thing to do.”
While it is too soon to tell how this will play out, this could signal a new phase of unionisation.
“As the ASWWUU said in a statement: “Asda should now join the growing number of supermarkets that have been engaging with the unions of their workers.
“Tesco has been criticised for not meeting workers’ demands, which have included higher wages and an increase in hours.
In October 2016, the supermarket giant announced that it would cut 40,000 jobs in its UK operations, with the aim of raising profits by a further 20 per cent by 2019.
Earlier this year, Asda announced a plan to increase the number of jobs in Australia by at least 10,000, with more to follow in the coming months.
But it also announced that the company would continue to work with the Asda union, and its workers would have the right to strike at any time.