Fashion retailer Littlewoods is encouraging staff to join shop workers' union Usdaw, as part of a far-reaching partnership deal it hopes will help the company modernise.
Two thousand staff have joined the union since the deal was agreed at ballot on 3 February, taking the total number of union members to 10,939 out of Littlewoods staff. More are expected to join over the next few weeks.
Usdaw national officer Terry Savage said encouraging staff to join showed a move away from the "them and us" attitude.
He added 2,500 Tesco staff joined Usdaw within a week of its recent partnership agreement.
Juris Grinbergs, HR director at Littlewoods, said the partnership deal, voted for by 72 per cent of union members, will ensure employees back changes needed to secure the company's future competitiveness. It will also simplify employee relations by cutting bargaining groups from 19 to just one.
"We are seeing a lot of discount stores setting up, we are seeing shopping over the Internet and home shopping and we are going to have to respond to that.
"When the speed of change is fast and you want to make sure your staff stay with you, you have to have open and active dialogue," he said.