In response to a question from Jim McMahon MP (Labour, Oldham West) in the House of Commons, the Government’s Environment Secretary said, “The Prime Minister made reference yesterday to the importance of those working in the food retail sector in particular. Later today the Government will be announcing those jobs will be defined as key workers, but I can assure him we fully recognise that over 25% of staff generally working in the food supply chain have children of school age. That’s recognised and something that will be reflected when that list is published.”
Paddy Lillis – Usdaw General Secretary says:
“As soon as the Government announced that all schools will be closing from Friday, I wrote to the Government calling for them to protect many retail workers, those in the retail supply chain and those in the pharmaceutical industry, including the supply chain.
“Today’s acknowledgement from the Minister is welcome, but we still seek absolute confirmation that food retail workers, those in the retail supply chain, those in the pharmaceutical industry and funeral workers will be given full access to any skeleton childcare provisions which are put in place. It is vital that these workers are able to continue delivering a crucial service without suffering any financial detriment.
“Usdaw members across these industries continue to work extremely hard in response to the outbreak and have been heavily involved in the immediate response to Coronavirus – ensuring that people have access to food and medicines, are essential services at this time of crisis. To ensure that the best possible provisions are put in place to support workers throughout this crisis, we are seeking to arrange regular discussions with Government Ministers throughout the Coronavirus emergency.”
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