Responding to the equal rights debate at Usdaw’s Annual Delegate in Blackpool’s Winter Gardens, Dave McCrossen – Usdaw Deputy General Secretary said:
“The principles of equality, inclusion and fairness for all, are at the heart of the trade union movement. This Union has a strong track record of campaigning and negotiating to extend equality for all members. With Usdaw reps and members working together, standing in solidarity with colleagues and communities who face discrimination, harassment and marginalisation - at work and in daily life.
“There are now almost 14 million disabled people in the UK, that's one in five of us, but time and again disabled people are prevented from participating fully in our society. Not because of their disability, but because of society's failure. Failure to make adjustments for their disability and failure to remove the barriers to inclusion.
“Many public spaces are still inaccessible, making it harder for disabled people and their families to take part in activities many of us take for granted. Leaving many feeling like second-class citizens.
“Operators and service providers have a duty under the Equality Act to make reasonable adjustments for disabled customers, so Government must take a stronger lead to ensure service providers are fulfilling their legal duty to disabled people and to make funding available, for organisations struggling to meet the costs of improving access.
“These problems are easy to fix. Staff can be trained. Buildings can be adapted. There is no need for a fifth of the population to be shut out of everyday life.”
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