A world-first was marked today when GMB clinched the first national collective agreement between a union and Asda/Walmart anywhere around the globe.
The US-owned company - one of the world's biggest firms and the largest retailer - has been widely seen in the past as anti-union and has been the focus of many protests and demonstrations.
But the ground-breaking agreement will now provide a national framework for more than 10,000 GMB members employed in transport and warehouse operations in 20 Asda depots.
Leaders of GMB and Asda/Walmart distribution network signed the two-year agreement - covering England, Scotland and Wales - at the union's annual congress in Brighton.
Signatories included GMB general secretary Paul Kenny, Asda director of industrial relations Mike Gooddie, Asda distribution director Ian Stansfield and GMB national officer Mick Rix.
The deal comes following 14 months of negotiations and the union believes it will cement the "constructive relationship that has developed in recent years."
GMB voted overwhelmingly in favour of the proposals in May with the conditions giving members greater job security as a result of improved productivity and efficiency in depots, and an "industry-leading" focus on health and safety.
Speaking on the growing confidence in the benefits of collective bargaining and insisting that the union would build on the agreement, Mr Kenny said: "This agreement represents a huge step forward in the progressive relationship between GMB and Asda."
Mr Stansfield added that the ground-breaking agreement "brings our practices up to date and creates the framework for the way Asda distribution and GMB will work together."