shopper customer at checkout

  • Usdaw said there needed to be “lasting and fundamental changes to the way society views our lowest paid workers”

  • It is calling for a £10 minimum wage, better sick pay and a ban on zero-hour contracts


Retail workers deserve a ‘new deal’ after the coronavirus crisis, with a £10 minimum wage and a ban on zero-hour contracts, the Usdaw union has said.

The organisation is marking International Workers’ Day (1 May) by calling for what it said were millions of “low-paid and undervalued” workers to be treated more fairly.

The retail trade union added the government, employers and the public needed to recognise the efforts of workers who had stepped up during the pandemic.

“Millions of low-paid workers have always provided essential services to help ensure the country is fed, healthy and safe, and the coronavirus emergency brings that to public attention,” said Usdaw general secretary Paddy Lillis.

“Usdaw members employed in our supermarkets, distribution warehouses, food processing sites and home delivery operations welcome the weekly applause for key workers, but that respect and appreciation must not fade into the background when this national crisis passes.

“There must be lasting and fundamental changes to the way society views our lowest paid workers. We need a ‘new deal’ for the workers.”

The Usdaw ‘new deal’ calls for:

  • £10 minimum wage for all workers
  • Minimum contract of 16 hours per week, for everyone who wants it, and a ban on zero-hour contracts
  • Better sick pay for all workers, from day one, at their average earnings
  • More protection from violence and abuse, including a new law making a specific offence of assaulting public facing workers
  • A better social security system provding a greater safety net than universal credit
  • Job security, with day one employment rights for unfair dismissal and redundancy
  • Fair treatment and equality for all workers, including equal pay for women