On Tuesday evening MPs voted to call a general election setting the stage for a 12 December contest. The legislation will begin its passage through the House of Lords today, where it is not expected to be opposed. Parliament will dissolve next Wednesday for a short campaign of five weeks.

Usdaw general secretary Paddy Lillis says:
“Usdaw welcomes the announcement that a general election will be held on 12 December. The fact that this is the first general election to be held in December since 1923 demonstrates the urgency of resolving the deadlock the country finds itself in.

“The past decade has shown what a Tory Britain looks like. Ideologically-driven austerity has cruelly targeted the most vulnerable people in our communities and their relentless attacks on trade union rights have given rise to an economy blighted by insecure work and in-work poverty.

“We’ve all had enough.

“That’s why Usdaw is ready to campaign for a Labour Government. A government that will represent the interests of our members and all working people by supporting the aims outlined in our campaigns such as a guaranteed real living wage of £10 an hour, banning zero hours contracts, and repealing the Trade Union Act.

“Labour’s vision for a fairer, more prosperous country and a future that works for all is one that will deliver real improvements to the lives of Usdaw members and working people across the country.”

Usdaw (Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers) is the UK’s fifth biggest and the fastest growing trade union with over 410,000 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.

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