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Parliament to discuss the crisis on our high streets - Usdaw welcomes the Westminster Hall debate secured by Liz Twist MP

Date: 09 July 2019 Shopworkers’ trade union Usdaw welcomes a Westminster Hall debate on ‘Developing a retail strategy for the future’ which has been secured by Liz Twist MP (Labour, Blaydon) and will take place tomorrow at 2.30pm, Wednesday 10 July 2019.
Paddy Lillis – Usdaw General Secretary says: “We are grateful to Liz Twist for applying for this important debate and congratulate her on securing it. The Government has so far failed to tackle the ongoing retail crisis, so it is crucial that the issue continues to be raised in Parliament.
“Our high streets are in crisis, with shops closing, retailers folding and businesses engaging in significant restructuring to survive. That impacts communities, shoppers and staff. The retail industry is experiencing turbulent and challenging times. Employing around 3 million people and contributing 11% of UK economic output, it is clear that the retail crisis has a huge knock on effect, impacting the UK economy and a significant number of workers.
“We need the Government to adopt a clear and coherent strategy for retail, to address the worries and concerns of shopworkers and our members. We hope that debate on Wednesday will be well supported by MPs and that the Government responds positively. Usdaw’s retail strategy could be a catalyst for a combined and concerted effort to tackle the growing retail crisis and help to save our shops.”
Liz Twist MP (Labour, Blaydon) says: “The retail sector represents a major part of our economy and it’s imperative that we have a retail strategy to take the sector forward - for too long it has been overlooked.
“Retail workers are the backbone of our economy, especially in my own constituency which is home to the MetroCentre, the largest indoor shopping centre in Europe as well as a number of local village centres.
“They deserve pay and working conditions that reflect the long and often anti-social hours they put in. I will continue to work with Usdaw, the shopworkers’ union, to address the issues that the retail workforce face.”
Usdaw’s ‘Save Our Shops’ campaign promotes our Industrial Strategy for Retail, which proposes detailed and evidence led policies, centred on three key areas:
  • Economy and community - changing the economic framework on everything from car parking to rates, rents and reforming the tax system to create a level playing field between online and ‘bricks and mortar’ retailers.
  • People and productivity - improving productivity by addressing low pay and insecure work, while giving staff a say in the future of the business they work for and on the introduction of new technology.
  • Retail jobs are proper jobs - challenging perceptions about retail work and promoting the idea that retail jobs are ‘proper jobs’. Seeking a greater focus from Government on the retail industry and ensuring shopworkers are valued.
Usdaw’s industrial strategy for retail: www.usdaw.org.uk/retailstrategy
Notes for editors:
Usdaw (Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers) is the UK's fifth biggest and the fastest growing trade union with over 410,000 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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