More than 1,000 sign petition urging Burnley retailer Boohoo to recognise union

A union involved in a stand-off with Burnley's biggest private sector employer has taken to the streets of the town to seek the public's support.

Members of Usdaw in Burnley
Members of Usdaw in Burnley

Usdaw (Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers) representatives took to St James's Street today with a petition calling for the ever-growing online retailer to enter into discussions and formally recognise the union.

The Burnley Express revealed earlier this week that Boohoo, which employs around 1,000 people at its warehouse and call centre in the town, has still not formally recognised the union despite a recommendation from Parliament.

More than 1,000 members of the public have so far signed the petition in Burnley town centre and at Boohoo's HQ in Manchester, and union representatives will be heading to the company's huge warehouse in Widow Hill Road, Burnley, this evening to speak to workers.

Sue Ianson, area organiser for Usdaw, said: "We have been speaking to Boohoo staff over the last 12 months, some of whom have joined us independently because they are concerned about their rights.

"The workers usually want independent advice on employment law and how to appeal in terms of disciplinaries and dismissals. Some of the workers have obviously had issues because they have approached us but Boohoo bosses are still refusing to meet us to discuss recognition.

"We will not go away and so the sensible thing is for Boohoo to talk with us. We are in 2019 not 1920. We would like to know what anxieties they have about having union recognition."

The House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee said: “We recommend that Boohoo engage with Usdaw as a priority and recognise unions for its workers.”