History Of Workers Union At Dudley Archives

The Union of Shop Distributive and Allied Workers (Usdaw) is celebrating its 125th anniversary with a touring exhibition which stops off at Dudley in June.

'Usdaw: 125 Years Strong' will be open to the public from 3 to 30 June 2016 at the Dudley Archives and Local History Centre on Tipton Road.

The free exhibition looks at the union’s social history and showcases campaigns in the areas of safer workplaces, better conditions, improved pay and fairness at work. Usdaw is the UK's fourth biggest trade union and most members work in the retail sector.

In 1891 workers’ representatives met in Manchester and Birmingham to establish the Manchester and District Co-operative Employees Association and the National Union of Shop Assistants which joined together in 1947 to become the Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers.

Cllr Rachel Harris, cabinet member for health and wellbeing, said: 

“When the two unions first formed in 1891 shop assistants worked between 70 and 90 hours a week and often had restrictions placed on their free time and this exhibition offers a fascinating insight into the work of the union through the years to improve working conditions.”


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