The Shared Strategic Vision for the Retail Sector
sets out how the Welsh Government, the sector and trade unions will work together in social partnership to ensure retail has a bright and sustainable future in Wales, which provides fair and rewarding career opportunities for its current and future workers.
The Vision outlines the major challenges facing the sector, and defines the key areas where action is needed, which includes:
Nick Ireland, Usdaw Regional Secretary says:
- Improving career opportunities within retail, with a commitment to progressively improving pay, terms and conditions beyond statutory minimums, ideally through collective bargaining.
- Greater job security, particularly in ensuring workers being offered guaranteed hours and sufficient notice of changes in shift patterns.
- Retail becoming an exemplar of workforce equality, diversity and inclusion – with proactive steps taken to address under-representation, occupational segregation and pay gaps.
- Ensuring fair working conditions and a safe working environment, with retail workers having an effective voice in decisions that affect them and their working conditions.
- Ensuring Wales’ town centres and high streets are thriving, through interventions such as investment, including ‘Transforming Towns’ regeneration investment, support for non-domestic rates and, through the Welsh Government’s Town Centre First approach, making these settings the preferred location for workplaces and services.
- Addressing skills shortages. Building on the Welsh Government’s Plan for Employability and Skills and in partnership with the sector and trades unions, Ministers are committed to helping to provide the sector with a future-proofed workforce. The plan sets out actions to both upskill existing workers and attract new entrants to the sector.
- Helping retailers to seize the opportunities of decarbonisation and digitalisation by, for example, reducing their reliance on fossil fuels, minimising the carbon footprint of their supply chains and investing in and maximising the potential use of digital technology.
“We have been working with the Welsh Government and our social partners for some time on how we can together tackle long established issues in the retail industry and we are delighted with the Vision that they have announced today. The industry as a whole was struggling before Covid-19 with record numbers of shop closures and job losses, so the ongoing commitment to support high streets and regenerate town centres is crucial.
“We not only need to secure jobs through helping the retail industry to prosper, but they must be good jobs with decent pay, that promote equality and bring an end to insecure contracts, which we have consistently called for in our ‘New Deal for Workers’ campaign. That is best achieved through collective bargaining with trade unions, which is an important part of this Vision for retail in Wales.
“Usdaw stands ready to build on the work we have done with the Welsh Government, business representative groups by engaging with retail employers and seeking to deliver a highly motivated, well-trained and respected workforce. For too long retail work has been undervalued, this Vision gives us the opportunity to change that and give Welsh retail staff the dignity they deserve.”
Notes for editors:
Usdaw (Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers)
is the UK's fifth biggest trade union with around 360,000 members. Most Usdaw members work in the retail sector, but the union also has many members in transport, distribution, food manufacturing, chemical industry and other trades.
Shared Strategic Vision for the Retail Sector: https://gov.wales/shared-strategic-vision-retail-sector-html
For Usdaw press releases visit: http://www.usdaw.org.uk/news
and you can follow us on Twitter @UsdawUnion