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Activist 83: Coronavirus crisis special

Special issue on the Coronavirus crisis and

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Activist 82

December 4, 2019 Leave a comment

Features articles on the 2019 UK General Election, Morrisons pay deal and how technology is used to exploit warehouse workers

Usdaw Activist 81: Save Our Shops Special

September 26, 2019 Leave a comment

Save Our Shops campaign special of the Activist

Vote No to the Morrisons’ Pay Deal

Heading into British summertime sees the latest controversial pay deal in the retail sector. The latest Morrisons pay deal is amid controversy and arguably caused more headaches for rank and file shop stewards than the 2016 Pay Deal which saw the removal of Sunday premiums.

There is a general feeling among reps along the front line, that this could be the most controversial and talked about pay deal among the Morrisons membership of the past twenty years.

So why so much unrest?

Perhaps it is Morrisons clear attempts to undermine Usdaw. So was the introduction of the new sevice reward scheme (commonly known as the Christmas bonus) and removal of the old one part of the pay deal? Or as the company claim was going to happen anyway so the deal is simply for the 30 pence increase to the base rate (taking it up to £9 per hour).

What is clear is that Morrisons gift for timing is not only clearly undermining the recognised trade union, but it has angered long serving Usdaw members within Morrisons.

The equal frustration is over the clear lack of strong statements from the National negotiating team of reps, headed up by Usdaw’s National Officer Joanne McGuinness. All reps have simply been told, the union do not support nor recommend refusing the pay deal. We are simply told this is the best deal that could be reached.

But this poses questions as well. If this deal were too be rejected, will members be balloted for industrial action? Will it go to arbitration?

Arbitration would be far from ideal. Given the lack of tradition of strike action in UK retail, then serious preparations would need to be made to mobilise the workforce if strike action was necessary to win a decent pay offer.

What is clear that Usdaw needs to make bigger noises to involve the membership in important pay deals. The Morrisons current pay deal presents the ideal opportunity to show strength to our membership before the likes of Tesco’s, Coop and Sainsbury’s follow suit and erode more terms and conditions. Like many reps up and down the country I will be urging my members to reject this offer.

A Broad Left member in Morrisons

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Usdaw Activist 79

January 28, 2019 Leave a comment

Includes articles on John Lewis, Bank Holidays, Irish Tesco Strike and John Hannett’s retirement

Usdaw Activist 78

November 5, 2018 Leave a comment

Articles on retail job losses and closures, £10 an hour minimum wage campaign, and Usdaw at the TUC 2018

Usdaw Activist 77

Includes articles on the Tesco Dagenham strike, Belgian Lidl victory and reports from Usdaw ADM 2018 and TUC demonstration