The Union has been in
close contact with employers at a national and local level since
the disturbances began and has advised hundreds of members who have
either been directly affected by the riots or who fear their store
might be the next to be targeted.
Usdaw has asked
employers to review their security measures and has reminded
members that they should never put themselves in physical danger to
prevent shoplifting, looting or damage to property.
The Union has also
called on retailers to seriously consider closing stores early if
there is any threat or possibility of trouble and has urged all
employers to continue to pay workers their contracted hours, even
when they have been unable to open because of damage or as a
precaution. Usdaw has also asked employers to take the same
approach with workers who have faced problems getting to and from
work because of traffic delays and disruption to public
Hannett, Usdaw General Secretary said:
condemns the rioting and looting that has brought havoc and fear to
many of our towns, cities and communities since the weekend. What
we are now seeing is nothing more than so called 'recreational
looting' and there is and can be no excuse for it."
"These looters are
destroying homes, jobs and livelihoods and tragically it now
appears some people may even have lost their lives as a result of
"Shops are at the heart of our communities and I applaud
the special efforts many of our members and other workers have made
to ensure stores remain open for the local community. However, the
safety of shopworkers, customers and local residents must remain
the number one priority and the police and both employers and
employees must make every effort to ensure any risk to personal
safety is minimised at all times."
Notes for Editors:
- Usdaw (the Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied
Workers) is the UK's fourth biggest and fastest growing trade union
with over 405,000 members. Membership has increased by more than
17% in the last five years and by nearly a third in the last
decade. Most Usdaw members work in the retail sector, but the union
also has many members in transport, distribution, food
manufacturing, chemicals and other trades.