Paddy Lillis – Usdaw General Secretary says:
“Retail is going through a really tough time with job losses and shops closing, as the Resolution Foundation report highlights. Usdaw is calling for an industrial strategy for the sector to level the playing field between online retail and the high street. We remain disappointed that the Government has so far offered little more than warm words.
“We need to invest in our high streets to create thriving community hubs and while we recognise diversification is an option, we still believe that retail and shopworkers have a key role to play. We need to tackle high rents and rates, alongside car parking charges that discourage shoppers. We also need to value shopworkers and the customer service they provide with better pay, secure hours and give them a say in the business through their trade union.
“The report’s findings on the reemployment of redundant shopworkers should be a wake-up call. When the worst happens, Usdaw is there to challenge the business case for redundancies, seek redeployment opportunities and help our members find work with other employers or through union training, reskilling and lifelong learning. It is time for those retailers who refuse to engage with trade unions to change their attitude and treat their staff with dignity and respect.”
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 420,000 members. Membership has increased by more than one-third over the last couple of decades. 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’s strategy for the future of retail
is based on three key strands:
For Usdaw press releases visit: http://www.usdaw.org.uk/news
- A new economic framework to support and develop the sector, including a comprehensive review of commercial rents and business rates; reform of tax laws, and closing the gap between CEO pay and workers.
- Tackling the issues affecting workers in the retail sector including minimum pay of £10 per hour; minimum contract of 16 hours (for those who want it), and the right to an employment contract that reflects actual hours of work.
- Ensure retail jobs are viewed as ‘real jobs’ by getting a commitment from employers and government to invest in skills within the retail sector; a robust strategy on how to deal with automation, and a seat for Usdaw on the Expert Advisory Panel on High Streets.
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