[2018] ** Motion 02 The future of the retail sector

carried motion
Carried motion

Received from:

Congress is alarmed at the level and frequency of restructuring within the retail sector, which is a constant source of worry for the UK’s three million retail workers.

Congress believes that retail workers have been overlooked for too long. Job
security in the sector has not been a priority of the current government, which has failed to develop a coherent industrial strategy for retail, despite it being the UK’s largest private sector employer.

Retail workers’ concerns about the increasing pace of changes in technology and customer spending, and the risks posed by Brexit, must be addressed as a matter of urgency.

Congress agrees to campaign for:

i. urgent government action to address the challenges facing retail
ii. investment in skills for retail workers, including through union learning and high quality apprenticeships
iii. reform of tax law to level the playing field between online and bricks-and mortar retailers
iv. stronger corporate governance rules, to prevent asset-stripping
v. action to curb excessive CEO pay, to close the gap with the lowest paid workers and ensure that business failure cannot be rewarded with bonuses
vi. a legal right to collective consultation on the implementation of new technology in workplaces
vii. a review of the law on redundancy, to remove the loophole that allows large
chains to avoid consulting over small sites
viii. every alternative to job losses to be explored, including the option of reducing working hours, while protecting workers’ take-home pay.

Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers