As the possibility of strike action draws nearer, the GMB has warned Wal-Mart-owned Asda that the union would call for a range of industrial actions to be put in place against the supermarket operator.

According to the GMB, Asda has sought to weaken the union and end its involvement in negotiations over pay and conditions. Giovanna Holt of the GMB told just-food that Asda could avoid looming strike action “by coming to the table in a constructive way. We want to be recognised fully as trade unionists and we want policies and practices to be harmonised across Asda depots.”

The union has already balloted staff at the 21 Asda depots over the dispute. If strike action does go ahead, the union would implement selective industrial action designed to cause maximum disruption, including the picketing of Asda depots, Holt said.

However, the union has denied reports in the UK press that it is threatening a consumer boycott of Asda stores.

“The last thing we are looking to do is call for a boycott of somewhere our members work,” Holt continued. “However, a significant proportion of shoppers are union members and they could well vote with their feet, spontaneously expressing their disapproval of Asda policy by shopping elsewhere.”

Asda, on the other hand, does not think this possibility terribly likely, Nick Agarwal, spokesperson for the company, told just-food.

“Shoppers don’t like this kind of political cause and they won’t be fooled by the GMB’s claims,” he said. “People choose to shop at Asda because of the service, quality and value we provide.”