Usdaw union steps up its campaign for recognition at Marks and Spencer

Retail union Usdaw has intensified its campaign for recognition at Marks & Spencer (M&S) by targeting the retailer’s customers.

The union is using specially designed leaflets encouraging shoppers to register their support for the campaign. It claims many M&S customers shop at the company because of its commitment to supporting fair trade farmers in the developing world, but are unaware it refuses to recognise Usdaw.

John Hannett, Usdaw general secretary, said: “Our reps are already out there representing their colleagues, many of whom feel their terms and conditions are being gradually eroded. We want to work with M&S to make sure its continued revival is not at the expense of staff morale.”

An M&S spokeswoman insisted the firm was not anti-union. “If enough of our staff wanted us to recognise the union then we would,” she said.

M&S estimates that less than 1% of its 66,000 UK employees are members of Usdaw. The company’s staff council – the Business Involvement Groups – has 3,500 elected members.

“The numbers speak for themselves. It is up to staff to tell us they want the union to be recognised,” the spokeswoman added.

Usdaw refused to disclose how many M&S staff were union members, only saying it was a “significant number”.

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