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TUC Disabled Workers' Conference 2021: Usdaw addresses the social, economic and workplace causes of mental distress

Date: 10 March 2021 Retail trade union Usdaw has a delegation of members and officials attending this year’s online Trade Union Congress (TUC) Disabled Workers’ Conference, which starts today and closes tomorrow. Usdaw is highlighting the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on disabled workers, focussing on the mental health crisis.
Usdaw is calling on the TUC Disabled Workers’ Committee to:
  • Work with affiliates to highlight the impact of the ‘crisis’ on workers’ mental health and make recommendations for action.
  • Support the work unions are doing to address the social and workplace factors that injure mental health.
  • Ensure that members with lived experience are at the forefront of TUC campaigns. 
Paddy Lillis – Usdaw General Secretary says: “I send my fraternal greetings to the conference delegates and wish them well in their discussions on how to improve the lives of disabled workers. We are deeply concerned by the profound impact that the pandemic is having on mental health and wellbeing.
 
“People with existing mental health problems together with disabled workers, low paid women and Black workers are bearing the brunt of the pandemic and are also paying the price for the economic crisis that has followed.
 
“Although mental health problems can affect anyone at any time they aren’t distributed equally across all groups in society. Usdaw members are vulnerable because of the jobs they do, their workplaces, their economic and social position and their experience as designated ‘key workers’.
 
“Anxiety about exposure to the virus and social distancing in workplaces, increased customer abuse, isolation from friends and family, stress and worry about the future, about job security and family income are harmful to members’ mental health.
 
“The Covid-19 crisis has dominated all our lives and it is as important as ever to support good mental health. Usdaw continues to support the work of mental health organisations and we salute our lay-reps for all they do to help members deal with issues in the workplace.”
 
Usdaw’s ‘It’s good to talk’ campaign provides the union’s workplace reps with advice and resources to support members experiencing a common mental health problem such as depression or anxiety. For more information: www.usdaw.org.uk/Help-Advice/Health-Wellbeing/Mental-Health
 
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.
 
For Usdaw press releases visit: http://www.usdaw.org.uk/news and you can follow us on Twitter @UsdawUnion

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