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Usdaw hits out at M&S for second time after 351 management roles cut

Trade union Usdaw has said that it will continue its campaign to be recognised as a representative for M&S workers after saying the company has not been allowing it to represent workers.

Following the announcement that 351 management roles were to be cut at M&S, Usdaw national officer Dave Gill reiterated comments he made following the company’s AGM on 11 July, repeating his belief that M&S was “not treating their staff with the dignity and respect they deserve”.

Gill told Retail Sector: “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, it now appears there are much more to come.

“This piecemeal approach to reorganising the business is extremely distressing for the staff. We again urge 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 the decision not to engage with a trade union. The staff are telling us they want Usdaw to represent them, it should be their choice.”

M&S announced today it is to cut 351 management roles, but said they are unrelated to the programme to close 100 UK stores by 2022. A spokeswoman told Retail Sector: “M&S is transforming and this is a tough but necessary decision to take to ensure our stores support the future of the business and provide the best service for our customers.”

Usdaw previously made similar comments after M&S chairman Archie Norman told shareholders “I can’t tell you it won’t be the last” in relation to store closures and job cuts.

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