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Queen's Speech 2021: Usdaw calls on the Government to Save our Shops and deliver a New Deal for Workers

Date: 10 May 2021 Retail trade union Usdaw is urging the Government to focus tomorrow’s Queen’s Speech on: ensuring workers are valued, respected and have fairly paid secure jobs, along with reform of Universal Credit to tackle in-work poverty, and reversing the decline on our high streets.
Shopworkers’ trade union leader Paddy Lillis says that ‘drifting back to pre-pandemic inequalities and injustices simply will not be good enough’ and has written to the Prime Minister setting out Usdaw’s priorities: www.usdaw.org.uk/QueensSpeech2021
 
Paddy Lillis – Usdaw General Secretary said: “The UK retail sector has been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. For an industry already facing significant challenges, the long-term impact will be severe. The crisis has pushed many retailers and retail workers to breaking point, so government action needs to be equally significant. Usdaw is calling for an urgent retail recovery plan that provides necessary support for the retail industry.
 
“Millions of low-paid workers provide essential services to help ensure the country is fed, healthy and safe throughout the coronavirus pandemic. Usdaw members employed in supermarkets, the food supply chain, pharmaceutical distribution and the funeral industry welcomed their 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 all workers. We need a New Deal for 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. There also has to be fundamental reform of Universal Credit to tackle in-work poverty.”
 
“If the Prime Minister’s catch phrases, ‘build back better’ and ‘levelling up’, are to be anything more than soundbites, tomorrow’s Queen’s Speech must deliver much needed change by delivering on their manifesto pledge of an Employment Bill. Drifting back to pre-pandemic inequalities and injustices simply will not be good enough.”
 
Notes for editors:
 
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.

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