Retail trade union Usdaw has welcomed Keir Starmer’s backing for targeted government support to help save jobs and businesses in the retail sector.
It comes as the Labour leader spoke to the annual Trades Union Congress, where he paid tribute to retail workers and “lamented that they remain overworked, underpaid and undervalued”.
He praised trade unions for their role in progressing the job retention scheme, but “recognised furlough cannot last forever and called on the Government to work with unions and Labour to help keep people in work by targeting support to the sectors that need it”.
In addition, Usdaw warned that workers in retail need a “new deal” on pay and job security, and called on the Government to intervene with a retail recovery plan that will protect jobs and save high streets.
The union said that it is “clear that only Labour is prepared to deliver”.
Paddy Lillis, Usdaw general secretary said: “We very much welcome the positive contribution Keir Starmer made to Congress today.
“He demonstrated that Labour clearly understands what the economy and working people need at this truly difficult time, in contrast to the incompetence and chaos of the Conservatives.”
He added: “Keir is right to challenge the Government to get its priorities right by sorting out Covid-19 testing, defeating the virus and delivering the Brexit deal he promised. Most importantly he rightly recognises the scale of problems working people face as we head towards Thatcher-era levels of unemployment.
“We join Keir’s call on the Government not to end the furlough scheme in one fell swoop and to replace it with targeted support to keep people in work and welcome that he committed to supporting the retail industry.”