The Union of Shop Distributive and Allied Workers is celebrating its 125th anniversary at Manchester’s People’s History Museum in June and throughout July. The union’s 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.
The People’s History Museum and Usdaw have brought together photos, posters, badges, leaflets and multimedia from 125 years of service to those workers in shops, factories, offices, warehouses and other areas. Don’t miss the never before seen documents about Usdaw official and leader of Jarrow March Ellen Wilkinson!
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.
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.
“We are very proud of the People’s History Museum being based in Manchester and delighted that Usdaw is able to exhibit our 125 year history there.”
A related pop up 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 430,000 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 People’s History Museum
is the national museum of democracy. They aim to engage, inspire and inform diverse audiences by showing ‘there have always been ideas worth fighting for’. http://www.phm.org.uk/
The People’s History Museum collection is the largest collection of political material in Britain, spanning working people’s demand for a better world to organisations that represented them. Befitting the national museum of democracy, objects related to the fight for the vote make up a core of the collection. These range from the early 19th century radical demands for the vote, through to the suffragettes, to the lowering of the age limit from 21 to 18 in 1969. PHM is an internationally significant political archive and includes the complete holdings of the Labour Party and Communist Party of Great Britain. Conservative Party and early Liberal Party material is strongly represented as are other organisations including the Department for Work and Pensions, the Trades Union Congress and The Co-operative Group.
For Usdaw press releases visit: www.usdaw.org.uk/news
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