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World Mental Health Day: Usdaw says 'It's good to talk'

Date: 10 October 2019 Shopworkers’ trade union leader Paddy Lillis is marking today’s World Mental Health Day by celebrating the role of trade union workplace reps in supporting members experiencing mental health problems.
Usdaw’s ‘Time for Better Pay’ survey of over 10,000 workers found that 63% say that financial worries were having an impact on their mental health. The survey also 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.
 
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 industry-wide cuts to budgets and staffing levels have left members feeling overstretched, overworked and undervalued.
 
“Our ‘Time for Better Pay’ campaign seeks to tackle these deep-seated problems so many workers are facing in response to shocking survey results. 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.
 
“World Mental Health Day is an important annual event highlighting how common mental health problems are across the globe, shining a light on an everyday issue. 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 ‘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
 
Usdaw’s ‘Time for Better Pay’ campaign calls for:
  • A minimum wage rate of at least £10 per hour for all workers.
  • Minimum contracts of 16 hours per week for everyone who wants one.
  • 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 410,000 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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