It was a case of trouble in store when grandmother-of-three Jackie Kearns was sacked from her job as a contract cleaner in Asda at Edenderry – and then banned from shopping in the superstore.
“I broke the rules and shopped during my break,” she said. “I accepted the ruling from ‘City’, the contract cleaners who employed me. Anyway, I’ve since got a job in Lurgan with better pay and conditions.”
The fall-out after the controversy prompted Asda to ban her from entering the store. “I’m a member of the public now as far as Asda are concerned – I wasn’t ever employed by them, but by City.
“I shopped at Asda before they came to Portadown. I travelled over to their store in Cookstown and was glad when they came here. I’ve worked for a number of companies as a cleaner and even had a supervisory post or two.”
The banning order was specific, telling Jackie that “the conditional invitation to the general public to enter any Asda store is withdrawn as far as you are concerned. Should you do so, you will be a trespasser and liable to eviction”.
Legal letters were exchanged, with Jackie asking for the ban to be lifted, “so that I can resume shopping at Asda as a member of the general public”.
But the reply from the company’s legal team to Jackie’s solicitor was – “The termination of your client’s employment is a matter between your client and City.” And it confirmed the “withdrawal of the conditional invitation to enter the store”.
Said Jackie, “It’s unacceptable. The ban applies until the manager withdraws it in writing. I just want to shop in the supermarket of my choice in my own home town.”