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LEEDS, England -- A planned strike by thousands of workers at Wal-Mart-owned Asda has been averted at the eleventh hour, after an agreement was reached during negotiations. According to published reports, workers and company officials had been at odds over national collective bargaining rights, as well as wages and health and safety issues.
Members of the Britain's General Union (GMB) at 20 distribution depots across the United Kingdom were set for a five-day walkout starting today that would have disrupted supermarket deliveries. The timing of the action would have coincided with consumer demand as a result of the World Cup soccer tournament.
Asda was close to seeking an injunction to block the walkout, citing "irregularities" in the strike ballot.
According to Asda c.e.o. David Cheesewright, "We're pleased to have signed an agreement acceptable to both sides to end the current dispute -- good news for our customers and colleagues alike."
GMB General Secretary Paul Kenny noted that the agreement represented "a new, fresh approach to representation and bargaining between the company and GMB."