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125 years of Usdaw exhibiting at the Dudley Archives and Local History Centre throughout June 2016

Date: 25 May 2016 A pop-up exhibition ‘Usdaw: 125 Years Strong’ will open to the public, free of charge, from 3 to 30 June 2016 at the Dudley Archives and Local History Centre.

The Union of Shop Distributive and Allied Workers is celebrating its 125th anniversary at Dudley Archives and Local History Centre throughout June. The union’s pop-up exhibition reviews Usdaw’s social history and showcases campaigns then and now in the areas of safer workplaces, better conditions, improved pay and fairness at work. The exhibition is free, open to all and offers a fascinating insight into the rights of shopworkers through the years.

One hundred and twenty five years ago, representatives of workers met in Manchester and Birmingham to establish the trade unions which would, in 1947, amalgamate to become the Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers.

John Hannett – Usdaw General Secretary says: “From our earliest days we have always been involved in campaigning and in our second century we’ve modernised, become more advanced and turned Usdaw into 'The Campaigning Union'.

“We have a solid record of involving members in evidence based campaigning to improve working lives. From raising health and safety standards, to promoting a good work/life balance; from fighting for a legal minimum wage, to demanding equal pay for work of equal value.”

The exhibition will travel to venues throughout the UK during 2016 and be hosted by Association of Independents Libraries (AIL) member libraries, public museums and the Trades Union Congress (TUC).

Notes for editors:

Usdaw (Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers) is the UK's fourth biggest and the fastest growing trade union with over 440,000 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.

Dudley Archives and Local History Service collects, preserves and makes available archive and local studies material relating to the Dudley borough to help the community understand the past, live the present and shape the future. http://www.dudley.gov.uk/resident/libraries-archives/  

Dudley borough has a long and varied history - from the borough's internationally recognised geological heritage to medieval town centres, the industrial revolution, and right up to the present day. Whether you’re interested in family history, house history or any other aspect of life and work in the Dudley borough, past and present, the Dudley Archives is a great place to start. The centre is home to the borough’s archives which include records dating back to the 12th century and holds original archive material including business ledgers, local authority correspondence and minutes, maps and school records. We have over 15,000 books and pamphlets and around 26,000 images relating to the borough.

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