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125 years of Usdaw exhibiting at the Linen Hall Library in Belfast throughout February 2016

Date: 26 January 2016 A pop-up exhibition ‘Usdaw: 125 Years Strong’ will open to the public, free of charge, from 4-26 February 2016 at the Linen Hall Library’s Vertical Gallery. There will be a preview evening 6-8pm on 4 February.

The Union of Shop Distributive and Allied Workers is celebrating its 125th anniversary at Belfast’s Linen Hall Library throughout February. The union’s pop-up exhibition reviews Usdaw’s social history and showcases campaigns then and now in the areas of safer workplaces, better conditions, improved pay and fairness at work. The exhibition is free, open to all and offers a fascinating insight into the rights of shopworkers through the years.

One hundred and twenty five years ago, representatives of workers met in Manchester and Birmingham to establish the trade unions which would, in 1947, amalgamate to become the Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers. It was in 1926 that the Belfast Linen Lappers and Warehouse Workers’ Union joined with NUDAW, a founding union of Usdaw.

John Hannett – Usdaw General Secretary says: “From our earliest days we have always been involved in campaigning and in our second century we’ve modernised, become more advanced and turned Usdaw into 'The Campaigning Union'.

“We have a solid record of involving members in evidence based campaigning to improve working lives. From raising health and safety standards, to promoting a good work/life balance; from fighting for a legal minimum wage, to demanding equal pay for work of equal value.”

The exhibition will travel to venues throughout the UK during 2016 and be hosted by Association of Independents Libraries (AIL) member libraries, public museums and the Trades Union Congress (TUC).

Notes for editors:

Usdaw (Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers) is the UK's fourth biggest and the fastest growing trade union with over 440,000 members. Membership has increased by more than 17% in the last five years and by nearly a third in the last decade. Most Usdaw members work in the retail sector, but the Union also has many members in transport, distribution, food manufacturing, chemicals and other trades.

The Linen Hall Library is a truly unique institution www.linenhall.com Founded in 1788, it is the oldest library in Belfast and the last subscribing library in Ireland. The Linen Hall Library is renowned for its unparalleled Irish and Local Studies Collection, ranging from comprehensive holdings of Early Belfast and Ulster printed books to the 350,000 items in the Northern Ireland Political Collection.

For Usdaw press releases visit: http://www.usdaw.org.uk/news and you can follow us on Twitter @UsdawUnion

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