Mike Aylward – Usdaw Divisional Officer for the North West says:
“There have long been concerns about working conditions in Boohoo’s supply chain, which have now been fully exposed by the Covid-19 outbreak in Leicester. Sadly it comes as no surprise to Usdaw after Boohoo promised MPs they’d engage with us, then did everything they could to frustrate our efforts.
“We received numerous enquiries from our members in their Burnley warehouse, concerned about their health and safety at the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak, but Boohoo rejected our attempts to work with the
company to ensure safe working conditions.
“While Boohoo markets itself as a modern and trendy retailer, their attitude towards industrial relations is Dickensian. The least we expect from an ethical employer is that the staff are able to be fully represented by an independent trade union. Stopping Usdaw from speaking to Boohoo workers, refusing to meet with us and telling their staff to bin our leaflets is not acceptable or ethical.
“Even when Parliament expresses concerns and makes recommendations, Boohoo feel they can ignore MPs and carry on denying staff an independent trade union voice at work, claiming they speak on their behalf and refuse to recognise Usdaw.
“Boohoo’s reputation has plummeted, along with the value of their shares. It is time they ended their anti-union position, opened up their workplaces to Usdaw and tackled the appalling employment practices in their supply chain.
“We continue to be inundated with calls from Boohoo staff concerned about working conditions. We again urge Boohoo employees to join Usdaw. We have to organise to make a difference.”
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.
House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee - Interim Report on Fixing fashion: clothing consumption and sustainability:
A cross-party MPs’ report into fashion industry sustainability specifically recommended that Boohoo recognises Usdaw as the union for their staff. The House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee said: “We recommend that Boohoo engage with Usdaw as a priority and recognise unions for its workers.” https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201719/cmselect/cmenvaud/1952/1952.pdf
For Usdaw press releases visit: http://www.usdaw.org.uk/news
and you can follow us on Twitter @UsdawUnion