// Usdaw petition for better pay receives 50,000 signatures
// The trade union looks to instate a £10 an hour minimum wage for retail workers
// Petition also calls for an end to end zero hours contracts
The Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers (Usdaw) will seek a debate in Parliament after its Time for Better Pay petition closed with over 50,000 signatures.
The shop workers’ trade union launched the petition to show its concerns about the pay and rights of retail workers finding themselves in increasingly insecure employment.
“More than 50,000 people have backed our call to end job insecurity and help working people make ends meet. That should make the Government sit up and listen. The initial Government response to the petition was deeply disappointing and woefully inadequate,” said Usdaw general secretary Paddy Lillis.
“They failed to engage with the evidence we provided and snubbed the petition, so we now think it is time for the issues to be debated in Parliament and we are exploring how we can achieve that.”
Lillis said the campaign’s aim is to persuade MPs to back a £10 an hour minimum wage and more secure contracts, which would boost minimum wage workers’ full-time pay by a much needed £2,640 a year.
Usdaw will also campaign to see minimum contracts of 16 hours per week introduced for any retail worker that wants one, and an end to zero-hours contracts.
“We need real and urgent improvements to workers’ rights to deliver an economy that works for all working people,” Lillis added.
The petition comes after Usdaw surveyed over 10,000 working people on their experience of low pay, short hours contracts.
They found that over the past five years, 92 per cent of those surveyed had seen no improvement in their financial situation.
In the past 12 months, 76 per cent of low-paid workers that were surveyed had to rely on unsecured borrowing to pay everyday bills.