Shopworkers’ trade union leader Paddy Lillis has called on the Prime Minister to use today’s statement to the House of Commons to set out measures to support the retail industry through a second lockdown.

Paddy Lillis, Usdaw General Secretary says:
“While we understand the need for another lockdown to help defeat this appalling pandemic, the Prime Minister cannot ignore the devastating impact this will have on our high streets in the run-up to Christmas. Retail was already struggling before the pandemic and the industry has suffered over 125,000 retail job losses and 14,000 store closures this year.

“Throughout the Covid crisis Usdaw engaged with the Government. However that joint working has stopped and the Government appears to no longer be listening, which is very worrying as we head towards a second lockdown. So today we want to hear the Prime Minister set out how the Government is going to support our high streets, as non-essential retail is closed at traditionally the busiest time of year.

“We have a choice here. Do we want to see the high street go to the wall, or do we want to save it? Retail is an important feature of our towns and cities; it employs three million people across the UK. What retail needs is a tripartite approach of unions, employers and government working together to develop a plan to help the industry through a second lockdown.”

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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