Shopworkers’ trade union Usdaw has joined with the Trades Union Congress (TUC) to launch a petition calling on Marks and Spencer to immediately open up a dialogue with the union to ensure staff are properly represented throughout its programme of store closures.
Paddy Lillis, Usdaw General Secretary Elect, said: “All staff in M&S stores were put under threat of redundancy in November 2016 when the company announced a restructuring that would affect around 100 shops over a five year period.
“At the time they did not say where the axe will fall and so far we’ve seen three waves of closure announcements, with more to come. This salami slicing approach to reorganising the business is extremely distressing for the staff.
“Usdaw has thousands of members working for Marks and Spencer and the staff now need, more than ever, the representation and support of an independent trade union; an experienced and knowledgeable trade union interrogating the company’s business case for this store reorganisation. Given the opportunity Usdaw would ensure that all avenues to save jobs are explored and staff are treated with dignity, fairness and respect.
“By signing this petition you are supporting our campaign for recognition and urging M&S management to abandon their long-held resistance to allowing Usdaw to represent the staff. It is simply unjust that the company have made a decision on behalf of the staff not to engage with a trade union.”
Usdaw (Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers) is the UK’s fifth biggest and the fastest growing trade union with around 430,000 members, with membership having increased by more than 28% over the last decade.