Retail trade union Usdaw regrets that the Chancellor made no mention of retail in today’s statement on extending the Job Support Scheme. Many retail businesses that are not required to close are impacted by Covid restrictions and jobs are under threat.
Paddy Lillis, Usdaw General Secretary says:
“We listened carefully to the Chancellor’s statement today and while he mentioned ‘open but struggling business’ he made no mention of retail. Closing hospitality venues has a serious knock-on effect on high street shops, as their business suffers lower footfall. The Government must listen to employers and trade unions to ensure that the scheme supports jobs for as long as restrictions are in place.
“Wage support needs to be at least 80% of average earnings. Low-paid workers cannot afford to take a huge pay cut; they have rents to pay and families to feed. Also Statutory Sick Pay levels make it very difficult for workers to afford to take time-off for illness or to self-isolate, which is crucial in the fight against Covid-19. SSP must reflect average earnings for the low-paid.
“Many of the jobs that will be lost are with businesses which were viable before the pandemic and will be viable again in the long-term, provided the right support is in place. Those businesses are a key part of the UK economy and the Chancellor must provide the necessary support to help them cope with the restrictions that the Government is imposing.”
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.