Retail trade union Usdaw is marking the anniversary of the first coronavirus pandemic lockdown by renewing their call for a New Deal for Workers.

Paddy Lillis, Usdaw General Secretary says:
“It has been a year since the first lockdown and none of us could have imagined we would still be in the middle of a global health crisis. The virus has decimated jobs, taken away loved ones and brought normal life to a grinding standstill. Three national lockdowns, new variants of the virus, school closures, loneliness and worry about the future have left many people struggling.

“Millions of low-paid workers have provided essential services to help ensure the country is fed, healthy and safe throughout. Usdaw members employed in our supermarkets, distribution warehouses, food processing sites and home delivery operations welcomed the key worker status, but that respect and appreciation must not fade into the background when this national crisis passes.

“There must be lasting and fundamental change to the way society views our lowest paid workers. We need a new deal for the workers: a minimum wage of at least £10 per hour, an end to insecure employment, respect for shopworkers and action to ensure that retail jobs are no longer underpaid and undervalued.”

Usdaw’s New Deal for Workers calls for:

  1. £10 minimum wage for all workers, ending rip-off youth rates and providing a living wage.
  2. Minimum contract of 16 hours per week, for everyone who wants it, that reflects normal hours worked and a ban on zero-hour contracts.
  3. Better sick pay for all workers, from day one, at average earnings.
  4. Protection at work – respect for shopworkers, abuse is not a part of the job.
  5. A proper social security system, Universal Credit does not provide a safety net.
  6. Job security, with day one employment rights for unfair dismissal and redundancy.
  7. Fair treatment and equality for all workers, including equal pay.
  8. A voice at work, stop rogue employers refusing to engage with trade unions.

More information at:

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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