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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:


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International socialist news and analysis

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

PCS Left Unity says get rid of the Tories!

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Peter Taaffe speaks in Birkenhead

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May Day greetings


Solidarity greetings in the Socialist for International Workers' Day 2017


 

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Related links:

Usdaw:

triangle600 more retail jobs on the line: workers must not pay for the bosses' high street crunch!

triangleNSSN conference 2018: Mood for fighting action and coordination

triangleRetail crunch: more giants on their knees - nationalise them now

triangleBroad Left candidate elected as Usdaw deputy general secretary

triangleWales TUC 2018: Socialist Party members challenge leadership at undemocratic conference

Retail:

triangleCardiff West Socialist Party: A day in the life of a retail worker

triangleTyneside shopfitting plant lays off 61 workers

triangleStrike at Tesco Dagenham for better pay

triangleUsdaw conference 2018

Jobs:

triangleThem & Us

triangleSummer of discontent on the cards in Huddersfield bin workers' dispute

triangleRolls-Royce: fight all job cuts!

Tesco:

triangleSolid strike at Tesco Dagenham distribution centre forces pay talks

triangleUse TUC march as launch pad for action on pay

Closures:

triangleConference 2018: members ready to fight to end pay misery

Workers:

triangle'Vote Leave' fined: For a workers' Brexit

Redundancies:

triangleLiverpool Uni staff set to fight 220 job losses

Pay:

triangleCampaign in full flow to squeeze out every last Yes vote in pay ballot

Morrisons:

triangleReject the mega-supermarket merger: nationalise to save jobs

Jeremy Corbyn:

triangleTories in crisis - Act now to get them out!

General election:

triangleCardiff West Socialist Party: Tories in Crisis - Force a General Election!

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