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Queen's Speech 2021: Usdaw disappointed by Government failure to deliver a New Deal for Workers or action to Save our Shops

Date: 11 May 2021 Retail trade union Usdaw expresses disappointment that the Government failed to include in today’s Queen’s Speech the union’s calls for: a new deal for workers to ensure they are valued, respected and have fairly paid secure jobs; reform of Universal Credit to tackle in-work poverty or a plan to revive our struggling high streets.
Shopworkers’ trade union leader Paddy Lillis says that “the Government is failing to ‘build back better’ as we drift back to pre-Covid inequalities and injustices”; having written to the Prime Minister setting out Usdaw’s priorities: www.usdaw.org.uk/QueensSpeech2021
 
Paddy Lillis – Usdaw General Secretary said: “Today is a missed opportunity to reward the millions of low-paid workers who provided essential services to help ensure the country is fed, healthy and safe throughout the coronavirus pandemic. By not delivering on the Conservative manifesto promise of an Employment Bill, the Government is failing to ‘build back better’ as we drift back to pre-Covid inequalities and injustices.
 
“Usdaw members need lasting and fundamental changes 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.
 
“We are also concerned by the lack of acknowledgement that the UK retail sector has been severely impacted by the coronavirus pandemic and desperately needs an urgent retail recovery plan that provides necessary support for the industry.
 
“Usdaw is looking for a protection of shopworkers amendment to the Police, Crime and Sentencing Bill, in the coming parliamentary session, to tackle the growing problem of violence, threats and abuse against retail staff, which doubled during the pandemic and remains high.
 
“The legislative programme announced today goes nowhere near delivering on the Prime Minister’s promises to ‘levelling up’ and to ‘build back better’. Today shows that they are just empty soundbites and that is deeply disappointing for our members.”
 
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.
 
Usdaw’s New Deal for Workers campaign: www.usdaw.org.uk/newdeal4workers
 
Usdaw’s Save Our Shops campaign: www.usdaw.org.uk/saveourshops

Usdaw’s Freedom From Fear campaign: www.usdaw.org.uk/freedomfromfear
 
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