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Usdaw welcomes a new report by the Smith Institute on making work better

Date: 24 October 2014 Shopworkers trade union leader John Hannett has welcomed a comprehensive new report ‘Making work better: an agenda for government’ from the Smith Institute, written by Ed Sweeney, former chair of the Advisory Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS).

John Hannett – Usdaw General Secretary says: ‘This well researched and evidenced report shows that Britain has too many poor performing workplaces where employees are often badly treated, underpaid, over-worked and ignored.

‘These days many more workers are feeling insecure in their employment, with the dramatic rise in use of zero-hours contracts, particularly in the unorganised workplaces. Under-employment has also been a significant feature of the reduction in unemployment figures. So many find themselves in work, but unable to secure enough hours to make a living.

‘With so many struggling to make ends meet in the cost of living crisis, I very much echo the report’s conclusion that fixing Britain’s broken workplaces must be top election priority.’

Author of the report Ed Sweeney said: ‘It's time governments woke up to the fact that far too many of Britain's workplaces are broken. The gap between the rest and the best is widening. The evidence shows that across all types of jobs, large numbers of workers are feeling insecure, ignored, mismanaged and are long overdue a pay rise.

‘Tackling these long running weaknesses is a win-win-win for employers, employees and government. However, the recovery is being held back by the failure to improve our productivity, which is well behind our major competitors. To do that we are going to have to invest in our workforce, reward and treat people fairly and give employees more of say over their work.’

Notes for editors:

Usdaw (Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers) is the UK's fourth biggest and the fastest growing trade union with 430,000 members. Membership has increased by more than 17% in the last five years and by nearly a third in the last decade. Most Usdaw members work in the retail sector, but the Union also has many members in transport, distribution, food manufacturing, chemicals and other trades.

Making work better: an agenda for government report is available from: https://smithinstitutethinktank.files.wordpress.com/2014/10/making-work-better-an-agenda-for-government.pdf

For Usdaw press releases visit: www.usdaw.org.uk/news and you can follow us on Twitter @UsdawUnion

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