David Gill - Usdaw National Officer says: "Staff in all M&S stores were extremely concerned about what the future holds when the company announced a wide-ranging store reorganisation last November, without saying where the axe will fall by detailing which stores are set to close. Today we’ve seen the first six announced, which is devastating news for the staff in those stores, but the uncertainty continues for everyone else.
"Usdaw has thousands of members working for Marks and Spencer and the staff now need, more than ever, the representation and support of an independent trade union. We again urge M&S management to abandon their long-held resistance to recognising Usdaw as the union to represent its staff.
"At this time of great uncertainty, staff need to be assured that an experienced and knowledgeable trade union is interrogating the company's business case for this store reorganisation. Given the opportunity Usdaw would ensure that all avenues to save jobs are explored and staff are treated with dignity, fairness and respect.
"We are providing our members with the support and representation they require throughout this difficult time."
Notes for editors:
Usdaw (Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers) is the UK's fourth biggest trade union with nearly 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.
For Usdaw press releases visit: http://www.usdaw.org.uk/news and you can follow us on Twitter @UsdawUnion