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BHS staff heard little today to reassure them about the future or explain the past - says Usdaw

Date: 15 June 2016 A joint BIS and DWP select committee hearing today heard from Sir Phillip Green, but the shopworkers trade union Usdaw remains concerned about securing jobs and establishing a viable future for the company to stave off liquidation.

John Hannett – Usdaw General Secretary says: “We welcome the commitment from Sir Phillip to ‘sort out’ the pension and await to see the detail of what he is proposing, but there was precious little said today to reassure the 11,000 staff who are staring down the barrel of a gun, facing unemployment.

"Saying sorry about the demise of BHS is simply not good enough for the hardworking staff about to be made redundant, many of whom have given their whole working lives to BHS. There are still serious questions that need to be answered and we hope the select committees take up Sir Phillip’s offer to scrutinise his finance team.

“Repeatedly Sir Phillip said ‘we cannot trade backwards, we can only trade forwards’ and that is exactly what the staff need, a future. So we are urging the administrators and all concerned to redouble their efforts to find a buyer, it’s the very least that the long-serving and loyal BHS staff deserve. In the meantime we continue to provide the support and advice our members in BHS require at this very difficult time.”

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.

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

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The official website of the Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers