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Usdaw takes tackling women's poverty to the Scottish Labour Women's Conference

Date: 23 November 2018 Shopworkers’ trade union Usdaw has a delegation attending the Scottish Labour Women’s Conference on Saturday 24 November in Dunfermline where the union is moving a motion on tackling women’s poverty.
Usdaw conducted a survey of 10,500 members, which found that women are bearing the burden of low paid, insecure work:
  • The majority of low paid workers are women.
  • Only 37% of workers earning over £10 per hour are women.
  • 70% of workers contracted to less than 16 hours per week are women.
Usdaw is calling on the Scottish Labour Party to:
  • Campaign for a £10 per hour minimum wage and the right to a minimum 16 hour per week contract.
  • Campaign for an increase in funded early learning and childcare hours for all children from age two.
  • Support the continued efforts of trade unions to highlight and address the persistence of women's inequality through their campaigning, political and bargaining activities.
Tracy Gilbert – Usdaw Deputy Divisional Officer for Scotland says: “There is still a long way to go before women in Scotland, the UK and across the world achieve equality with men. The Scottish Government's own figures show that poverty is higher for working age women than for men, with 30% of single working age women considered to be in poverty after housing costs.

“Trade unions are key to tackling poverty, with unionised workplaces being more likely to pay decent rates and less likely to have insecure working practices. Women need change and we need it now. This is why Usdaw has launched our ‘Time for Better Pay’ campaign.

“We need to use our collective strength to highlight and address the inequalities women face, whether it’s around wages, or conditions at work and home, or poverty as a whole. It must be a priority for our next Labour government, but women can’t afford to wait, so we urge Labour to get behind our campaign now. It’s time to say enough is enough. It’s time for better pay. It’s time for better working conditions and it’s time to end women’s poverty.”

Usdaw’s ‘Time for Better Pay’ campaign seeks to tackle the causes of in-work poverty and seeks to develop an economy where work pays. Based on evidence from our survey of 10,500 workers, the campaign is calling for four key actions:
  • £10 per hour minimum wage for all workers over 18.
  • Minimum contract of 16 hours per week for all employees who want it
  • The right to a contract based on an individual’s normal hours of work
  • An end to the misuse of zero hour contracts.
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.
For Usdaw press releases visit: http://www.usdaw.org.uk/news and you can follow us on Twitter @UsdawUnion

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