Usdaw praises Next for moving ahead of the government and closing its warehouses

Usdaw has welcomed that fashion retailer Next has listened to their workforce and agreed to close their warehouse & distribution operations until further notice.

Usdaw believes the government should be agreeing that non-essential online retail should cease trading in the same way that it told high street non-food shops to close earlier this week.

Usdaw national officer Mark Todd said: “Online retail relies on people working in warehouses, distribution centres and delivering to residential addresses. Social distancing is very difficult in all these situations and yet many non-food purchases will not be essential. We called on the government to ensure that workers are protected and the risks are minimised by restricting non-essential online retail.

“Today we welcome Next moving ahead of any government intervention and doing the right thing by their staff and the wider community. Our members were increasingly worried about going into work and risking contracting Coronavirus and then putting family at home at risk.

“The government’s announcement that non-essential retail shops must close does not currently extend to online and home delivery. In fact, they have actually said that ‘online retail is still open and encouraged and postal and delivery service will run as normal’.  Usdaw believes this guidance needs to change.  Online retail should not be operating ‘business as usual’ – instead the government should be advising workers in the non-food non-essential parts of online retail to ‘stay at home’.”

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