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M&S staff shocked by an AGM threat of more store closures - Usdaw renews call for recognition

Date: 11 July 2018 Shopworkers' trade union Usdaw has today renewed their call for recognition as the trade union for M&S staff after the company’s chairman told the shareholders’ AGM that “this business is on a burning platform” and refused to rule out further store closures and job losses.
Dave Gill - Usdaw National Officer says: “M&S management are not treating their staff with the dignity and respect they deserve. It is deeply regrettable that they should hear such devastating assessments of the business through the media. There is a clear breakdown in communications, the staff are not being properly consulted on the future of their jobs and they need to be properly represented an independent trade union.
 
“All staff in M&S stores were put under threat of redundancy in November 2016 when the company announced a restructuring that would affect around 100 shops over a five year period. At the time they did not say where the axe will fall and so far we’ve seen three waves of closure announcements, it now appears there are much more to come. This salami slicing approach to reorganising the business is extremely distressing for the staff.
 
“This remark at the AGM only makes matters worse, this is no way to treat 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; an experienced and knowledgeable trade union interrogating the company's business case for this store reorganisation.
 
“We again urge M&S management to abandon their long-held resistance to allowing Usdaw to represent the staff. It is simply unjust that the company have made the decision not to engage with a trade union. The staff are telling us they want Usdaw to represent them, it should be their choice.”
 
Notes for editors:
 
Usdaw (Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers) is the UK's fifth biggest and the fastest growing trade union with around 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.
 
Usdaw has joined with the TUC to launch a petition calling on Marks and Spencer to immediately open up a dialogue with the union to ensure staff are properly represented throughout their programme of store closures. The petition is available to sign at: https://campaign.goingtowork.org.uk/petitions/m-s-don-t-keep-your-staff-in-the-dark-over-massive-cuts
 
For Usdaw press releases visit: http://www.usdaw.org.uk/news and you can follow us on Twitter @UsdawUnion
 

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