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Usdaw continues the struggle for equality at the TUC Women's Conference

Date: 06 March 2019 Today Usdaw delegates are gathering with hundreds of other trade union activists for the TUC Women’s Conference at Congress House to promote equality and fight discrimination.
Usdaw is raising concerns at the conference that too many pregnant women miss out on their rights at work and that women are more likely than men to be working part time for low pay and to live in poverty.
Ruth Cross - Usdaw Equalities Officer says: “Pregnant women workers often face discrimination and unfair treatment at work from not getting time off for ante natal appointments to inadequate rest breaks and lack of a proper risk assessment. Women in unorganised workplaces and migrant women face particular problems and are often too afraid or vulnerable to assert their rights. We are looking to work with the TUC and others to raise awareness of these issues and to press for changes in the law to address them. 
“Poverty worldwide is gendered; women are more likely to live in poverty than men and to be working part time for low pay. The gender pay gap has remained stable in the last 20 years and this has a negative impact on women’s incomes. Studies show that women are significantly less likely to escape low pay then men.
“We welcome the increase to the National Living Wage but it remains too low. The continuation of age related pay excludes young workers from the higher National Minimum Wage rate and entrenches issues of low pay for young people.
"Both low pay and cuts to social security provision are major contributors to women’s poverty. Our campaigning on low paid workers should place a strong emphasis on women’s poverty and low pay.”
Usdaw is calling for:
  • Young workers to be paid the full adult rate.
  • £10 per hour minimum wage rate.
  • Tackling short hours contracts through a statutory minimum contract of 16 hours per week, for those who want it.
  • Ending the two child limit, scrapping the benefit cap and raising the level of child benefit.
  • Restoring the annual uprating of working age benefits.
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.
For Usdaw press releases visit: http://www.usdaw.org.uk/news and you can follow us on Twitter @UsdawUnion

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