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    The Issa brothers face threats of Asda strike over cost cuts

    Mohsin and Zuber Issa risk starting a riot in a supermarket. Photo: John Super

    Asda's billionaire owners are facing a wave of strikes. after cutting millions of hours in a bid to cut costs.

    Mohsin and Zuber Issa, along with their private equity partner TDR Capital, risk starting an uprising at the supermarket, which employs 140,000 people, as they face warnings. unprecedented strikes.

    Employee estimates show that Asda staff have lost eight million hours in the last two years alone, with further cuts expected this year.

    The cuts have heightened union concerns about health and safety. The GMB, one of the UK's largest trade unions, staged a small strike at a store in Hampshire on Friday.

    The move to slash Asda's wage bill comes as the business grapples with hundreds of millions of pounds in interest payments, leaving it with a £4.2 billion debt pile.

    The financial squeeze has coincided with turmoil in the Issa brothers' empire, including the prospect of Zuber Issa selling his 22.5% stake in the business just three years after he and his brother bought Asda for £6.8 billion.

    It is clear that Zuber is seeking refuge with his brothers' original business: gas stations and takeaway food. Photo: John Super

    Mohsin's personal life has also come under scrutiny as he recently confirmed a report in The Telegraph that he was in a relationship with Victoria Price, a former EY tax partner who was Asda's auditor before her departure last year. She said she did not work on the account.

    It is understood Zuber said in the meetings that he had enlisted the help of former Conservative Party chairman Sir Jake Berry MP to help deal with the unrest.

    However, Sir Jake said he was only speaking to Issa in his capacity as MP for their Lancashire constituency, stressing that he was not helping them in any formal or paid capacity. The Issa brothers refused to comment on their relationship with Sir Jake.

    Allies of the brothers, whose fortune was built on the EG Group petrol station chain, rejected allegations of disagreement. They said Zuber attended the Asda board meeting on Monday along with Mohsin.

    Concerns about cutting working hours at Asda were highlighted by an Asda worker who told The Telegraph it was causing “huge health and safety issues” across all stores.

    An employee said: “The reduction in working hours has been huge. The Issas did this to make Asda more profitable. Not only colleagues suffer, but also clients.”

    Question marks over the company's ownership have also caused uncertainty among employees.

    On Friday, a group of Asda workers took part in strike action at an Asda supermarket in Hampshire, although further elections are expected to take place in at least three more stores.

    A spokesman for the GMB Union confirmed, that he has a dispute with Asda over several stores, “with cutting working hours being one of the key issues”.

    However, union leaders said “positive discussions” had begun “in an attempt to address some of the issues facing our members.”

    An Asda spokesman said: “Like all major UK supermarkets, Asda has responded to changing consumer behavior by investing in technology and modernizing its operating practices. We continue to explore ways to better use colleagues to serve customers.

    “We recently had positive discussions with GMB on Friday in an attempt to resolve some of the concerns they raised.”< /p>

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