Photo credit: Asda

Photo credit: Asda

Supermarket chain Asda are cutting down on employee benefits, with plans to scrap free tea and toast for staff in the mornings.

Troubled supermarket may also close canteens in cost-cutting drive that includes plan to axe 200 staff at Asda’s head office in Leeds. Managers are understood to be meeting with union representatives on Wednesday to discuss the matter.

The chain has axed 1,600 employees in less than two years.The latest cutback came less than two years after the retailer brought store canteens in-house and reduced staff catering facilities across 200 branches.

An Asda spokesperson said: “The industry faces major challenges and the certainty of permanent structural change. In the context of this, we also have to further change the way we do business.”

The chain is thought to have been a big loser over the festive period. Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Morrisons all performed better than expected, while discounters Aldi and Lidl achieved double-digit sales increases.

Asda has yet to reveal how it performed over Christmas, but data from Kantar Worldpanel suggested sales slumped 3.5 percent in the 12 weeks to 3 January, reducing the grocer’s share of the market.

The controversial savings drive will also include ceasing coffee and vending machines for works, according to the Evening Standard.

The GBM trade union has decisively opposed the plan, with a spokesperson telling the Sun the move has come as a huge blow to “dedicated employees”.

A spokesperson for Asda issued a statement, explaining that from the responses of their employees they understood that this was an “emotive subject”, but adding that “it is necessary to look at areas that are no longer financially viable.”