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125 years of Usdaw exhibiting at the Edinburgh People′s Story Museum throughout March and April 2016

Date: 10 March 2016 A pop-up exhibition ‘Usdaw: 125 Years Strong’ will open to the public, free of charge, from 7 March to 22 April 2016 at the People’s Story Museum.

The Union of Shop Distributive and Allied Workers is celebrating its 125th anniversary at Edinburgh’s People’s Story Museum throughout March and April. 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 1923 that the Scottish Slaughtermen and Allied 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'.

“Ours is 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 People’s Story explores the lives of Edinburgh’s ordinary people using real people’s own memories throughout the museum. From work to home, healthcare to social activities, people of the past are brought to life through re-created settings, displays and costumed figures. Forms of employment such as printing, brewing and domestic service are represented. We look at the lighter side, too, with our displays on leisure and time out. The museum is packed full of exhibits, from a pub sign to prisoner restraints and political reform banners. The People’s Story is housed in the Canongate Tolbooth, a category ‘A’ listed building built in 1591 on the site of an earlier tolbooth. It was the courthouse, prison and centre of burgh affairs when the Burgh of Canongate was independent from Edinburgh. http://www.edinburghmuseums.org.uk/Venues/The-People-s-Story

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