Shopworkers’ trade union Usdaw has been informed by IKEA that as a precautionary measure against the ongoing risk of COVID-19, the company has decided to temporarily close all stores to the public at 6pm today.

Dave Gill, Usdaw National Officer says: “This is a deeply worrying time for everyone, not least shopworkers. We understand that the company is considering the health and safety of customers and staff, but this is a major decision that is very concerning for our members.

“IKEA is requiring staff, who are well and not self-isolating, to report for their duties as normal; a number of co-workers may be redeployed into their online business. More importantly, the company has confirmed that staff will continue to receive their contractual pay and we are hopeful all retailers will follow their example.

“Usdaw is providing our members with the support and advice they need at this time of great uncertainty. We continue to call on the Government to do more to support businesses and workers through the Coronavirus emergency.”

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.

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