Usdaw national officer Dave Gill said:
“The news of job losses will be devastating for thousands of Selfridges’ staff as well as a bitter blow to the already struggling high street.
“Usdaw will begin consultation in August and we will be robustly examining the business case and all options to avoid compulsory redundancies including voluntary redundancy, early retirement and reduction of hours.
“We once again urge the Government to adopt an urgent retail recovery plan to save a sector that employs three million people.”
Usdaw called for a recovery plan to be developed with trade unions and retail employers and include:
Fundamental reform of business rates. The Government committed to a review of business rates earlier this year, but assurance is needed that this will not be delayed further.
An immediate and comprehensive review of rental values and lease arrangements. In the short-term measures are needed to prevent commercial landlords taking legal action for rental defaults during the lockdown period. In the medium term, a rebalancing of the relationship between landlords and tenants is required.
Reform of UK tax law to ensure that companies pay their fair share of tax through tackling tax avoidance and the use of offshore havens, with the aim of creating a level playing field between online and high street retailers.
Funding for local authorities so they can invest in their local economy, transport networks and high streets. We cannot revive our high streets if core services continue to be undermined
Investment in skills for retail workers, including through union learning and high-quality apprenticeships. This should include an in-depth assessment of emerging trends and potential skills shortages/gaps within the sector.
A new deal for retail, distribution and home delivery workers based around a real living wage and guaranteed hours.
Notes for editors:
Usdaw (Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers)
is the UK's fifth biggest trade union with over 400,000 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