General Secretary – Paddy Lillis
Paddy Lillis became Usdaw’s General Secretary in July 2018 following overwhelming support from the Union’s branches across the UK for his nomination. He was re-elected to serve a further 5 year term in November 2022.
In his time as General Secretary, Paddy has overseen the launch of a number of high profile Usdaw campaigns including the Retail Recovery Plan and the New Deal for Workers. He has liaised with retailers and employers groups such as the British Retail Consortium to highlight the issues facing the retail sector and led campaigns calling for clear Government action. Paddy is a member of the Retail Sector Council and the Labour Party High Street Commission.
Paddy has also driven forward the Union’s Freedom From Fear campaign, which has delivered new legal protections for shopworkers in Scotland. In 2019, Paddy launched a Parliamentary petition calling on the Westminster Government to introduce a specific offence of assaulting, threatening or abusing a retail worker. This petition received over 104,000 signatures. Following the petition, a Home Office Select Committee inquiry, and a debate in Parliament, the Government agreed to support an amendment to the Policing, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill which brings into statute tougher sentences for attacks on retail workers.
Paddy serves on the TUC Executive Committee and TUC General Council, and is a member of the TUC Anti-Racism Taskforce. He is currently developing a programme of work within Usdaw to improve representation of Black members at all levels in the Union.
Paddy is a member of the Usdaw delegation to the Trade Union Congress and Labour Party Conference, where he has raised key issues affecting Usdaw members, such as insecure work, fire and rehire and parents and carers’ rights. Paddy has previously served as a Labour Party Councillor for ten years.
Paddy represented Usdaw on Labour’s National Executive Committee for 14 years and was the NEC Chair in 2016.
Paddy has been an Usdaw member for over 40 years. He joined Usdaw when he was employed as a heavy goods driver at Abbey Meat Packers in Newtonabbey, County Antrim in Northern Ireland. He was appointed to the role of Usdaw Area Organiser in 1989 in the Bristol office, before becoming the Divisional Officer for South Wales and Western Division in 1997.
Paddy then served as Deputy General Secretary of Usdaw for 14 years. He co-ordinated the Union’s recruitment campaigns, and the work of the very successful Organising Academy. In the 14 years in the role, the Union’s recruitment and organising strategy helped Usdaw to grow by more than 100,000 members.
Paddy Lillis biography correct at November 2022.
Dave McCrossen, a former employee of the Co-operative Retail Society, started his Usdaw career when he became an Area Organiser in 1989. Sixteen years later he was promoted to Deputy Divisional Officer. Working closely with Paddy Lillis, he was responsible for developing the organising agenda within the Division and seeing it grow from 39,000 members to more than 65,000. In 2014 Dave was successful in securing the position of Divisional Officer. As the Divisional Officer in the Eastern Division, Dave was involved in signing a number of new and improved agreements with employers, as well as working closely with a number of MPs.
In 2018 he was elected as the Deputy General Secretary of Usdaw, where he is responsible for the Union's Organising Agenda.
Dave is a member of the Labour Party’s National Policy Forum as well as the TUC's General Purposes Committee.
Dave has been a member of Usdaw for more than 30 years and held the positions of Shop Steward and Branch Secretary.
Dave McCrossen biography correct at April 2023.
In February 2021 Jane Jones was elected by members as Usdaw President, taking office in May 2021.
Jane became an Usdaw rep in 2014 and then Branch Chair 2 years later. She has also held the position of Union Learning Rep within her store. In 2017 Jane was elected to represent the North West Region on the Executive Council, where she served for four years before being elected President.
Jane is a retail key worker, who has worked for Tesco for 18 years and has been an Usdaw member since 2004. In her time as a rep, she has been a committed supporter of many of the Union’s key campaigns such as Freedom From Fear and Supporting Parents and Carers.
Jane represents Usdaw on the TUC Women’s Committee and has spoken on behalf of the Union at numerous TUC and Labour Unions events, putting forward the views and experiences of Usdaw members on the frontline.
As President, Jane chairs the Union’s National Executive Council Meetings, the Annual Delegate Meeting and other important Usdaw events.
Jane Jones biography correct at April 2022.