Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers Need a Socialist Leadership: Vote Richie Venton for USDAW NEC

We publish the statement by Richie Venton below in his campaign for USDAW NEC. and also his statement on the threat from Tescos to axe 17,00 jobs.

USDAW organise some of the most exploited workers in companies such as Tescos, Sainbury’s, Ikea, Co-op, Argos, Aldi and Lidl along with various factories and warehouses. It is potentially very powerful Union.

With a militant leadership and a recruitment drive they could have the Tesco CEOs running scared and with a Socialist programme they could play an integral part in a fight for nationalised, workers controlled, food producers and distributors service. Yet they have a very conservative leadership.

Richie, who’s also the workplace organiser for the SSP is a passionate and skilled socialist and trade unionist who’s managed to unionise an Ikea store. An election of Richie Venton to the USDAW NEC would be a significant step forward in transforming the union into what it should be.

IMT Scotland give Richie our full support and encourage all USDAW members in Scotland to vote Richie Venton as one of the Scottish region’s NEC members. The dealine is the 8th of Feburary so please give several days for postage. Those who aren’t members yet but work in USDAW recognised workplaces should join the union and join Richie to help turn it into the militant socialist union its members need and deserve!


“From 15th January 2018, all Usdaw members have the chance to elect a new national union leadership – an opportunity that only comes every three years. Seize your chance to vote for change!

You have TWO votes for the two Scottish members of the Usdaw National Executive Council (NEC). I ask you to use one of your votes to elect me, to stand up for members against the onslaught by the Tories and profit-hungry employers.

I want to add my decades of dedicated experience as a trade unionist, organiser, campaigner and socialist to the NEC – and to forums of members in Scotland.

I’ve never shied away from standing up for my principles; standing up for the rights of the working class; speaking out and taking action against poverty, inequality and exploitation.

If elected to the NEC, I will campaign for decisive, united action on key policies that would vastly enhance the lives of all 45,000 members in Scotland – regardless of which company or type of job you work in.

I’ve been an active trade unionist all my adult life, organising solidarity with workers in struggle.

I joined Usdaw in 2008, and was elected shop steward and convener in my 400-strong workplace in 2009.

Since then I’ve fought and won many improvements , including minimum 4-hour shifts and 16-hour contracts; represented over 220 individuals in disciplinaries, grievances and appeals; built Usdaw membership from 15% to 70% – and pioneered the establishment of the first ever national network of union reps in the history of the company.

On the NEC, I’d continue to speak out for members and issues, as I’ve done at Scottish and UK-wide Usdaw conferences – standing up for what I believe in; openly, constructively challenging the union leadership if or when I think they are wrong.

I want to see transparency and democratic accountability over our leadership by a fully involved membership.

I’ve never been a careerist. And I’m not standing for the NEC for the title! I’m standing for change.”

Statement on Tescos Redundancy Threats

As Tesco announces yet more attacks on its staff, company shares leapt up by 1.3%. The usual story: cuts for staff (including store-based management) and a boost to profits for the giant shareholders.

The same retail giant saw growth of 2.3% in the 3rd Quarter of 2017 – and boasted further sales increases in the past 6 weeks… but now reward those who earned them these results with hellish job insecurity – including potential redundancies.

The same day, it was confirmed 40,000 Tesco jobs have been slashed since Dave Lewis took over as Chief Executive Officer in 2014!
The hearts of Tesco workers (and the rest of us) must surely bleed for ‘Drastic Dave’, as he was known in a previous life of axe-wielding. After all, the poor unfortunate had a fall in his personal income from £4.6m in 2015/16 to £4.1m last year!

We should demand full access to all Tesco’s secret accounts, for public inspection by Usdaw and financial experts. Expose where all the profits have gone!
And why should staff be punished for the cut-throat competition between rival retail profiteers – or the grotesque greed of the fat-cat Chief Executives? We should demand NO REDUNDANCIES – and no loss of pay for those who are the victims of this cynically-named plan to ‘simplify’ staff structures.”

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