Janise was unable to attend the Trade Union Congress in Brighton today, so her health and safety rep award was collected by Usdaw President Jeff Broome. Janise has done extensive campaigning to improve safety for staff in her workplace, an out-of-town large supermarket. She used Usdaw’s Safer Journeys to Work campaign to help staff on early and late shifts get to and from work safely.
Brenda today collected her TUC Women’s Gold Badge from Frances O’Grady, TUC General Secretary, for her commitment as a workplace rep and specifically for campaigning on mental health. Brenda tragically lost her niece to suicide and realised that she had to do something to tackle the shame, stigma and prejudice that still surrounds mental health.
Brenda Shaw says:
“My campaign to raise awareness about mental health started in my workplace, but it soon spread across the union and I am grateful to Usdaw for their support. The Usdaw national campaign on mental health has really helped me spread the message to my colleagues and other reps across the North West.
“Helping people is enough reward and I don’t do campaigning at work for awards, but it is really nice to be appreciated.”
John Hannett - Usdaw General Secretary says:
“We are very proud of our two reps, Brenda and Janise, who have won these prestigious TUC awards. It is a great compliment to Usdaw as well as these individuals.
“Our union is only as strong and effective as the volunteer reps who are active in the workplaces we organise. I am delighted to say that we have an army of talented and dedicated reps who do great things every day to help members.
“Brenda and Janise both highlight the breadth of service that we as a trade union offer. It isn’t just about negotiating wages and dealing with disciplinary hearings, as important as those are. Tackling mental health and safety at work are difficult issues and quite often a union rep is the one of very few people who can do something significant to help.
“We and our members ask a lot of our reps, so it is fantastic when they receive this kind of national recognition.”
Notes for editors:
Usdaw (Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers)
is the UK's fourth largest and the fastest growing trade union with over 440,000 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.
For Usdaw press releases visit: www.usdaw.org.uk/news
and you can follow us on Twitter @UsdawUnion