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MPs debate the proposed closure of Ikea's Coventry store - Usdaw calls for Government action to 'save our shops'

Date: 13 February 2020 Shopworkers’ trade union Usdaw welcomes an adjournment debate in the House of Commons about the proposed closure of the Ikea store in Coventry, which puts over 350 jobs at risk. The debate was led by Zarah Sultana (Labour, Coventry South).
Dave Gill - Usdaw National Officer says: “We are grateful to Zarah Sultana MP for raising the proposed store closure, which is devastating for staff. Usdaw is currently engaged in meaningful consultation talks with the company to interrogate the business case for this proposed closure. We are providing our members with the support, advice and representation they need at this difficult time.”
Paddy Lillis – Usdaw General Secretary says: “This proposed closure is not an isolated incident, but part of a wider set of fundamental challenges facing the entire retail sector. An unfair business rates system, difficulties for consumers in getting access to town and city centres, high staff turnover and significant increases in violence and abuse against shop workers are just some of the broader issues affecting the industry.

“Usdaw’s Save Our Shops campaign is calling for the introduction of an industrial strategy for the retail sector, a strategy that would tackle many of the issues currently holding the industry back. Retail is the largest private sector employer in the UK economy, providing employment for around 3 million people. Any successful industrial strategy will only be delivered through genuine engagement with all relevant stakeholders.”

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.
Usdaw’s ‘Save Our Shops’ campaign calls for urgent Government action with an industrial strategy for retail implementing policies like:
  • Review taxation, commercial rents and business rates to ensure a level playing field between ‘bricks and mortar’ retailers and online retailers, providing a new framework that supports local communities and the wider economy.
  • A minimum wage of £10 per hour for all workers, secure work and investment in skills and training to provide decent pay and job security for retail workers and drive up productivity.
  • Give retail workers a say over the future of retail and the introduction of new technology, with a designated inclusive body that ensures the Government recognises the crucial role retail has in the UK economy.
Usdaw’s industrial strategy for retail: www.usdaw.org.uk/retailstrategy
For Usdaw press releases visit: http://www.usdaw.org.uk/news and you can follow us on Twitter @UsdawUnion

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