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M&S piecemeal reorganisation claims a further 17 store closures - Usdaw calls for talks

Date: 15 January 2019 Shopworkers' trade union Usdaw has called on Marks and Spencer to immediately open up a dialogue with the union to ensure staff are properly represented, after the company announces a further 17 store closures, putting 1,045 jobs at risk.
The company have announced that they propose to shut store in: Ashford, Barrow, Bedford, Boston, Buxton, Cwmbran, Deal, Felixstowe, Huddersfield, Hull, Junction One Antrim Outlet, Luton Arndale, Newark, Northwich, Rotherham, Sutton Coldfield and Weston Super Mare.

David Gill - Usdaw National Officer says: "Staff in all M&S stores were extremely concerned about what the future holds when the company announced a wide-ranging store reorganisation in November 2016, which will affect more than100 shops over a five year period. Today we’ve seen a fourth wave of closures announced, which is devastating news for the staff in those stores and the uncertainty continues for everyone else. This piecemeal approach to reorganising the business is extremely distressing for the 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. We again urge M&S management to abandon their long-held resistance to recognising Usdaw as the union to represent its staff. It is simply unfair that they continue to refuse their staff access to Usdaw, having made the decision on their behalf not to engage with a trade union.

"At this time of great uncertainty, staff need to be assured that an experienced and knowledgeable trade union is interrogating the company's business case for this store reorganisation. Given the opportunity Usdaw would ensure that all avenues to save jobs are explored and staff are treated with dignity, fairness and respect.

"We are providing our members with the support and representation they require throughout this difficult time."

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