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From The Socialist newspaper, 12 July 2007

Kwik Save workers betrayed by bosses and union

SHOPWORKERS' UNION USDAW have proclaimed 11 July as 'Respect for Shopworkers' Day'. It is part of their campaign to prevent violence and abuse against shop workers. But one group of shop workers have been dealt a heavy blow - by the bosses.

Alison Hill

Hundreds of USDAW members working for Kwik Save were thrown on the dole as the company went into administration. 56 stores will be transferred to a new company and the remaining 90+ stores have closed.

The workers made redundant on 5 July will join those from the 81 stores closed in June. These 1,100 workers will have to fight for redundancy payments from the administrators KPMG.

When Kwik Save's inability to compete with its low-cost rivals reached crisis point six weeks ago, the union did not organise strike action to demand that the workers be paid. Unbelievably, they encouraged the workers to work for nothing, to "try to keep the company alive".

Most of the workers endured great hardship during this period and all they have to look forward to now is a paltry redundancy payment - if they're lucky.

USDAW's approach of entering into 'partnership' agreements with big business has backfired on them again. The Kwik Save debacle follows on closely behind 400 USDAW members being made redundant from Tesco's Milton Keynes Distribution Centre. USDAW has a partnership agreement with Tesco.

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In The Socialist 12 July 2007:

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