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Insecure employment challenges unions to organise workers for a better deal says Usdaw

Date: 12 September 2017 Shopworkers’ trade union Usdaw today joined calls for workers to join a union to get a better deal at work. Speaking at a TUC fringe meeting at the annual Congress in Brighton, Usdaw rep Raktima Sarkar described the problems insecure workers face and the efforts the union is making to get a better deal.
Raktima Sarkar said: “Insecure work in the convenience store sector is about short hours working rather than zero hours contracts. It’s about changes to shift patterns at short notice. What might seem like a secure job - a job with a contract, a set number of minimum hours, with rights to annual leave and holiday pay - can suddenly become insecure when you’re asked to change your hours, when you’re asked to work lates, earlies or weekends.

“Work in retail is insecure because if you can't comply with the demand to change your hours then all too often women are told ‘take it or leave it’, and leave it means just that - having to leave your job.

“This way of working also presents real challenges for reps in terms of recruitment and organising. So Usdaw has come up with cluster reps elected to look after 5 to 10 small stores with 20 or so staff in each, supported by their full time official, and it works.

“Insecure work means different things to workers in different sectors and it presents enormous challenges to the Union movement. I’m proud to say that my union Usdaw is coming up with creative and worker centred ways of rising to meet those challenges.”

Notes for editors:

Usdaw (Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers) is the UK's fifth biggest trade union with over 430,000 members. Membership has increased by more than 20% in the 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/new... and you can follow us on Twitter @UsdawUnion

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The official website of the Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers