Gavin Dadley – Usdaw Regional Secretary says:
“The closure of the Queensgate store in Peterborough city centre is a devastating blow for the staff, shoppers and the wider community. Usdaw is providing support and advice to our members affected by this proposal at this very difficult time.
“Regrettably M&S do not recognise Usdaw as the union for their staff and therefore do not communicate with us directly. So, we have deep concerns about the fairness of the consultation process. We urge the company to immediately drop their opposition to Usdaw and engage with us to ensure the staff are treated with dignity and respect.
“The retail industry faces huge challenges, with 120,000 jobs lost and over 10,000 stores closed last year across the UK. There are substantial issues that need to be addressed like rents, rates and taxation. Usdaw is calling for a robust plan for the future of retail work that addresses both the immediate and urgent priorities facing the industry and staff, as well as wider measures to help save jobs.
“We need a co-ordinated and inclusive approach, so we are urging government, retailers and all key stakeholders to engage with Usdaw. Only by working together can we help to secure the future viability of the industry for the benefit of customers, workers, communities and our economy.”
Andrew Pakes, Labour & Co-operative Parliamentary Candidate for Peterborough, commented:
"This is a desperately damaging decision by M&S to shut their Queensgate store and leaves yet another hole in our city centre. This is bad news for staff, customers and for mix of shops in the centre.
"With John Lewis gone already, and the previous council administration closing the city market, this is more tough news for the city. We need urgent action to support staff affected and to bring life back to our high streets and the city centre."
Notes for editors:
Usdaw (Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers)
is one of the fastest growing unions in the TUC and 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 www.usdaw.org.uk
Usdaw’s Save our Shops campaign: www.usdaw.org.uk/SaveOurShops
For Usdaw press releases visit: http://www.usdaw.org.uk/news
and you can follow us on Twitter @UsdawUnion