Articles by John Hannett
John Hannett is general secretary of Usdaw

Adapt to survive

John Hannett  |  11 September 2017

Trade union decline is not inevitable, argues Usdaw general secretary John Hannett The latest figures on trade union membership in the United Kingdom showed that it fell to 6.2 million, down 4.6 per cent on last year. Times are certainly tough for unions. We are operating in a fragmented labour market, with growing levels of insecure work, …

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A difficult balancing act

John Hannett  |  12 May 2017

Two-thirds of Usdaw members are covered by agreements which improve the rights of parents and carers, argues Usdaw general secretary John Hannett Work-life balance issues have traditionally been regarded by many in the trade union movement as peripheral – a matter for individual representation rather than national level campaigning and bargaining. This reflected a view that female part-time …

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Usdaw cares about carers

John Hannett  |  18 May 2016

Every year Usdaw, the shopworkers’ union, organises a campaign to raise awareness of the pressures members are under when they are juggling work with looking after someone. This year’s campaign day is being held today, Wednesday 18 May, and it is all about carers, with the theme ‘Usdaw Cares About Carers’. Usdaw is encouraging as …

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Respect for shopworkers

John Hannett  |  24 March 2016

Recently we have seen reports of a French man on trial for assaulting shopworkers with camembert in Chelsea. It is easy to understand why this story was reported, journalists must have rubbed their hands in glee when this landed on their desks. However, this case is a serious one. The individual concerned had a history …

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Keep Sunday special

John Hannett  |  1 March 2016

As the union representing retail workers across the United Kingdom, Usdaw is extremely concerned at the enterprise bill amendment which would devolve the power to set the hours of Sunday trading for large stores to local authorities. This would lead to a ‘domino effect’ with longer Sunday opening spreading across the country, having a detrimental …

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Freedom From Fear

John Hannett  |  13 November 2015

The Freedom From Fear campaign is one of Usdaw’s main campaigns and is incredibly important to the lives of our members. Our members, and all workers, should be free from the fear of violence, threats and abuse while going about their working lives. Our annual Freedom From Fear survey has shown that the level of …

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An unfair and unwanted bill

John Hannett  |  2 November 2015

Usdaw has raised our objections with the provisions in the trade union bill and is actively supporting today’s Trade Union Congress’ parliamentary lobby. Usdaw rarely organises industrial action and sees such a process as a last resort following a serious breakdown in industrial relations. In fact, during 2014, Usdaw completed over 135 separate pay reviews, …

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A Great British compromise that is fair to all sides

John Hannett  |  10 July 2015

It is extremely disappointing that the government has yet again returned to the question of Sunday trading, particularly after promising before the election they had no plans to relax the law. The government may argue that this proposal is not deregulation, but devolving the powers to vary opening times down to local authorities and elected …

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Black Friday: keep your cool and respect shopworkers

John Hannett  |  28 November 2014

We all love a Black Friday bargain, but please respect shopworkers. I’m asking shoppers to keep their cool and respect shopworkers on ‘Black Friday’, as an unprecedented number of retailers are taking part in this year’s deal frenzy. ‘Black Friday’ comes from retailers traditionally operating at a financial loss, being ‘in the red’ from January …

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Keep your cool

John Hannett  |  10 November 2014

Usdaw’s Freedom From Fear campaign seeks to prevent violence, threats and abuse against shopworkers in the course of their duties. Our latest survey shows that in the last 12 months over 300 shopworkers were assaulted every day, just for doing their job. The campaign brings together police, employers, politicians and shop staff to work together …

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