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Fairness not favours - Usdaw calls for an industrial strategy to tackle the retail crisis and save our shops

Date: 04 January 2019 Next week will see the start of retailers issuing trading updates following the crucial Christmas period and the early indicators suggest it may not be good news for many.
Shopworkers’ trade union Usdaw has launched an industrial strategy to tackle the current crisis on our high streets and in the retail sector generally, making a number of policy suggestions to the Government, centred on three key areas:
  1. Changing the economic framework on everything from car parking in town centres to business rates, commercial rents and reforming the tax system to create a level playing field been online and ‘bricks and mortar’ retailers.
  2. Improving productivity by addressing low pay and insecure work.
  3. Challenging perceptions about retail work and promoting the idea that retail jobs are ‘proper jobs’.
Paddy Lillis – Usdaw General Secretary says: “We are joining with the retail employers who are calling for a number of key measures to tackle the crisis on our high streets, including a reform of business rates to help level the playing field between online and ‘bricks and mortar’ retailers.

“This is not about favours from Government, it’s about fairness across all forms of retailing. We need national and local government, unions and employers to form a joint retail task group to effectively tackle the current crisis.

“The retail sector is experiencing turbulent and challenging times. Employing around 3 million people it contributes 11% to the UK economic output; so it is clear that the challenges affecting the retail sector have a huge knock on effect, impacting the UK economy and a significant number of workers.

“The Government has so far failed to provide any clear or coherent strategy for the retail sector, or to address the worries and concerns of retail workers. We urge the Government to engage with us, support our strategy and give shopworkers a voice in the future of retail.”

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.
 
Usdaw’s industrial strategy for retail: www.usdaw.org.uk/retailstrategy
 
For Usdaw press releases visit: http://www.usdaw.org.uk/news and you can follow us on Twitter @UsdawUnion

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