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Time to Talk Day 2019: Usdaw survey reveals financial worries impact the mental health of 63% of workers

Date: 07 February 2019 Shopworkers’ trade union leader Paddy Lillis has welcomed ‘Time to talk day’, led by campaigning organisations ‘Mind’ and ‘Rethink Mental Health’, which is all about bringing together the right ingredients, to have a conversation about mental health.
An Usdaw survey of over 10,000 workers has laid bare the issues that working people are facing as a result of low pay, short and zero hours contracts and insecure work. 92% have seen no improvement in their financial situation over the past five years. 63% say that financial worries were having an impact on their mental health.
 
Sign the ‘Time for better pay petition at: www.usdaw.org.uk/T4BP
 
Usdaw’s ‘It’s good to talk’ campaign provides the union’s workplace reps with advice and resources to support members experiencing a common mental health problem such as depression or anxiety. For more information: www.usdaw.org.uk/Help-Advice/Health-Wellbeing/Mental-Health
 
Paddy Lillis – Usdaw General Secretary says: “Mental health is a trade union issue. Cuts to in-work benefits; rising living costs; wages falling in value; shorter working hours; redundancies, along with industry­wide cuts to budgets and staffing levels have left members feeling overstretched, overworked and undervalued.
 
“Our survey results are shocking, which is why we have the ‘Time for Better Pay’ campaign and launched a petition, to tackle these deep-seated problems so many workers are facing. Usdaw is also training and resourcing our reps to help members who are struggling to cope and they are doing a great job.
 
“Usdaw reps are running campaign awareness days in their workplaces to tackle the stigma that surrounds mental health. Stigma gets in the way of members talking to the union at an early stage and this can lead to them getting caught up in disciplinary procedures that could and should have been avoided.
 
“Time to Talk Day is an important annual event that encourages us to focus on having conversations about mental health. Usdaw supports the work of mental health charities and organisations and salutes our lay-reps for all they do to help members deal with issues in the workplace.”
 
Usdaw’s ‘Time for better pay’ campaign is calling on the Government to strengthen workers’ rights by introducing:
  • A minimum wage rate of at least £10 per hour for all workers.
  • Minimum contracts of 16 hours per week for everyone who wants it.
  • Contracts based on an individual’s normal hours of work.
  • An end to zero-hours contracts.
For more information: www.usdaw.org.uk/T4BP
 
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

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