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Safety first is the only way lockdown measures can be eased says Usdaw

Date: 10 May 2020 Shopworkers’ trade union Usdaw has responded to the Prime Minister’s statement by urging a safety first approach to easing lockdown measures. The union cautions non-food retailers not to open until they can guarantee staff and customer safety and urges them to adopt the joint advice agreed with the British Retail Consortium (BRC). Usdaw is calling on businesses to work with trade unions to carry out risk assessments in workplaces before re-opening for business.
Paddy Lillis – Usdaw General Secretary says: “Usdaw’s absolute priority is the safety of our members and we have emphasised safety first in all the discussions we’ve had with the Government. Non-food retail should only start trading again when expert public health advice agrees, but even then we must have a guarantee that the right policies and practices are in place to make workplaces safe.

“The vast majority of our members are key workers in the food and pharmaceutical supply chain and we have worked with employers to ensure that these essential services have been able to continue safely. As and when other retailers are allowed to open they must do so in a measured and safe way. We cannot afford to cut any corners. The last few weeks have laid bare the terrible damage this virus can wreak.

“Usdaw and the British Retail Consortium have developed advice and guidance for the non-food retail sector on what effective safe distancing in the shops might look like.  We would urge all high street retailers to study the joint advice and open a dialogue with Usdaw and the BRC on putting in place plans for adequate social distancing measures in their stores.”

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.
 
Social Distancing - BRC-USDAW Recommended implementation practices for Non-Food Retail Stores: A guide for retailers on how to implement Government advice - Version 1: 24 April 2020 www.usdaw.org.uk/BRCguide
 
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