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Usdaw appeals to local authorities directly as the Scottish Government fails to provide clarity on key worker status

Date: 23 March 2020 Retail trade union Usdaw has written to the Scottish Government three times urging them to clarify that workers in the food and pharmaceutical supply chains are defined as key workers and therefore able to access school childcare provision.
The union has not received the necessary clarity, so has written to all Scottish local authority leaders directly, pleading with them to allow retail and pharmaceutical workers to make use of the much needed services schools offer, to enable them to go into work and provide the essential services we all rely on.

Stewart Forrest – Usdaw Divisional Officer for Scotland says: “Usdaw is extremely disappointed with the guidance issued by the Scottish Government on Friday regarding school closures. In the rest of the UK, the essential role of food and pharmaceutical workers has been recognised, with these workers rightly prioritised for childcare provision.  This has not been made clear in the guidance for Scotland.

“There is an extraordinary effort being undertaken by workers throughout the supply chain, to keep Scotland fed.  The supply of food and medicine is always an essential service, now more than ever. There should be no question whatsoever that our members in these roles are essential workers and that they need to be prioritised. 

“It is very disappointing that we have been forced to write to local authority leaders directly, but we will not let this rest until our members, who are doing essential work in very difficult circumstances, have the correct support that they desperately need.”

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

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The official website of the Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers