Socialist Party
| Print

7 March 2018

Toys R Us, Maplin: worsening retail crisis claims more jobs

Trade unions must fight for public ownership

Scott Jones, chair, Usdaw east London retail branch (personal capacity)

Big high street retailers Toys R Us and Maplin have gone under, with a number of other familiar names like Mothercare rumoured to follow.

5,500 jobs could go as a result of these companies entering administration. This puts thousands more shop workers, mostly women, on a scrap heap which already includes - among others - thousands who lost their jobs after wholesaler Palmer & Harvey and department store BHS went under in 2017.

The BHS collapse meant the loss of a high street icon, and the jobs of many members of retail and distribution union Usdaw. Following this, Usdaw conference passed a resolution calling on the government to bring companies in a similar situation into public ownership.

But where the union has made statements, they have included no call for public ownership and no firm commitment to fight to save every job.

Consumer spending fell last year, including a 5% fall in high street spending. This is having an effect on retail companies, many of which are in debt. Austerity has left workers with little money in their pockets.

But at the same time millions of pounds are paid out to shareholders at these companies. And despite the debts of some, others who have made staff cuts - such as Tesco, Sainsbury's and Marks & Spencer - make huge profits.

Retail workers should not pay the price for austerity, or the bad management of retail companies like Philip Green's dodgy control of BHS.

We need combative trade unions to confront this slaughter of retail jobs. The brilliant election of class fighter and Socialist Party member Amy Murphy as Usdaw president is a sign that shop workers agree.

An end to austerity and a plan to stop the retail crunch is needed to safeguard jobs.

Corbyn-led Labour should adopt Usdaw's policy of taking these companies into public ownership to save the jobs if it comes to power, and make demands on this government before it does.

Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube


Putin and May, photo CC

triangle16 Mar Russia, spies and nerve agents

triangle14 Mar Socialist Party congress 2018

triangle14 Mar Spring Statement 2018: Tory austerity staggers on despite economic...

triangle14 Mar Strike continues: set dates for next national action

triangle14 Mar Spain: millions on streets against sexism and capitalist oppression

Message from Sheffield University - UCU reject the deal, no sell-out., photo Alistair Tice

triangle13 Mar Determined UCU strikers: We're out to win!

triangle9 Mar Leaked pay deal: fight for a genuine pay rise

More ...


triangle20 Mar Manchester Socialist Party: The refugee crisis

triangle21 Mar Salford Socialist Party: Five Star Movement and the Italian elections

triangle21 Mar Caerphilly Socialist Party: Is peace in Northern Ireland threatened by Brexit?

triangle21 Mar York Socialist Party: Building and financing a revolutionary party


Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777


Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 0798 202 1969

East Mids: 0773 797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 0191 421 6230

North West 07769 611 320

South East: 020 8988 8777

South West: 07759 796 478

Southern: 07833 681910

Wales: 07935 391 947

West Mids: 02476 555 620

Yorkshire: 0114 264 6551


What we Stand For

About the Socialist Party

Our 2015 election manifesto

Joining the Socialist Party - what will it mean for you


Alphabetical listing

March 2018

February 2018

January 2018