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 in November 2016, that will affect around 100 shops over a five year period, involving 60 store closures. At the time they did not say where the axe will fall by detailing which stores are set to close. Today we’ve seen a further 14 announced, which is devastating news for the staff in those stores and the uncertainty continues for everyone else. This salami slicing approach to reorganising the business is extremely distressing for the staff.
"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 fifth biggest and the fastest growing trade union with over 430,000 members. Membership has increased by more than 28% over 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/news and you can follow us on Twitter @UsdawUnion