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From The Socialist newspaper, 26 April 2017

Usdaw ADM 2017: Left challenge needed to end assault on retail jobs and conditions

Usdaw conference delegates supporting striking junior doctors last year, 26.4.16, photo Scott Jones

Usdaw conference delegates supporting striking junior doctors last year, 26.4.16, photo Scott Jones   (Click to enlarge)

Amy Murphy, Usdaw executive council member (personal capacity)

In 2016 many changes were made within the big four supermarkets as they adapted to falling sales. The Coop, Sainsburys, Morrisons and Tesco all saw many store closures and thousands of jobs lost.

Within Tesco it didn't just stop with closures - new developments were scrapped, head office jobs were cut, layers of management removed and office hours shortened.

A complete restructure took place, leading to less full time positions replaced by short-hour flexi contracts. Then just before Christmas several stores, my own included, made cuts and changes resulting in huge redundancies.

Accounting scandal

To top it all, Tesco was facing a £263 million accounting scandal. So where are we now? When you think things cannot get any worse it all starts again!

1,700 deputy managers' jobs lost in Tesco Express stores, replaced by lower paid shift leader roles. More 24-hour trading hours cut, counter closures, colleague rooms outsourced, opticians now being sold off to Vision Express - all resulting in more redundancies.

Tesco has just been fined £129 million by the Serious Fraud Office for the accounting scandal. Once again it's the low paid workers who pay the price for mistakes made at the top.

With the number of job losses over the last year it's no wonder that Usdaw's membership has taken a downward turn. For the first time in 22 years we are losing members.

Now, more than ever, Usdaw needs to be strong for its members and take on the issues faced by retail workers head on, Usdaw needs to push back attempts to erode terms and conditions and push for more full-time contracts.

Elections

2018 is a crucial year in the Usdaw calendar - both the executive council and the president are up for election and the need for a left challenge is crucial.

We should also support Jeremy Corbyn in the general election. To use the words of Jeremy: "Fairness for only a few is not fairness, but privilege."

Jeremy has committed to close the gap between top earners and low paid staff. With the right result on 8 June this could become a reality and be built on by a electing a left-wing Usdaw leadership.

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In The Socialist 26 April 2017:


What we think

A bold socialist campaign could get rid of the Tories


Socialist Party news and analysis

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What we saw


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International socialist news and analysis

Mélenchon result shows potential for building a mass left force


Socialist Party workplace news

Strikes can end nurses' poverty pay

Len McCluskey re-election - a defeat for the right

Usdaw ADM 2017: Left challenge needed to end assault on retail jobs and conditions

PCS Left Unity says get rid of the Tories!

BMW strikers determined to win pensions dispute

Forest Hill School demonstration

Workplace news in brief


20 years since Blair's election

How Blairism sank its claws into the Labour Party


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Health Campaigns Together meets to chart the way forward

Protests in solidarity with LGBT+ people facing persecution in Chechnya

Doncaster TUSC: TUSC's programme for local jobs and Services

Peter Taaffe speaks in Birkenhead

East London tenants fight 40% rent hike


Socialist Party comments and reviews

The Socialist inbox


May Day greetings


Solidarity greetings in the Socialist for International Workers' Day 2017


 

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Related links:

Usdaw:

triangleUsdaw victory - Socialist Party member Amy Murphy wins presidential election

triangleI'm now a 'manager' and I can barely manage!

triangleSupermarket's slash jobs - union fightback needed

triangleAmy Murphy Usdaw campaign meeting

triangleWorkplace news in brief

Retail:

triangleAmy Murphy for Usdaw president - vote for a fighting and democratic union

triangleRetail sector crunch: nationalise to save jobs

triangleThree-week Argos distribution strike

triangleWhat would a socialist food industry look like?

Jobs:

triangleMerseyrail protest

triangleSouthampton Socialist Party: The collapse of Carillion

triangleCarillion and the construction industry

Tesco:

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triangleSolidarity with Tesco Ireland Valentine's Day strike

Closures:

triangleBristol anti-cuts campaigners debate alternatives to the cuts

Workers:

triangleAfter 80 strike days Mears workers achieve victory

Redundancies:

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Pay:

triangleGerman engineering strike puts shorter week on agenda - but could have won more

Morrisons:

triangleWorkplace news in brief

Jeremy Corbyn:

triangleTower Hamlets Socialist Party: How can we get Jeremy Corbyn's anti-austerity policies into our local council?

General election:

triangleCorbyn's left must seize the advantage in Labour's civil war

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