M&S under fire from union over working plans

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a RETAIL union has slammed Marks & Spencer for denying staff the chance to take part in the Queen’s jubilee celebrations this summer.

Despite opening late for last year’s Royal Wedding, bosses at M&S are insisting all staff due to work in stores and food shops must come to work on Tuesday, June 5, according to GMB.

The firm’s 78,000 members of staff will receive time-and-a-half pay but no day off in lieu, in contrast to employees at Morrisons and Sainsbury’s, who will get an extra day’s paid leave should they choose to work the holiday.

GMB have urged the company – which was originally founded in Leeds and has branches in Leeds city centre, Pudsey and Moortown – to reconsider their decision.

Members of the TUC union wrote to the government after the Royal Wedding last April, encouraging ministers to ensure all workers benefit from special bank holidays in the future.

But without the provision made, it is down to employers to decide whether staff get a day off.

GMB says M&S should give staff the chance to have a paid holiday and those who work should be paid premium rates, as well as given an extra day off.

Gary Smith, GMB’s national secretary for the retail sector, said: “GMB members working for M&S are very disappointed with the refusal of the company to do what most employers in the UK are doing for jubilee day.

“M&S purports to be as British as strawberries and cream.

“It is not right that they are not giving their staff the opportunity to take part in this holiday like the vast majority of staff elsewhere.”

An M&S spokesman said: “We’re still finalising our plans for the jubilee weekend and are working hard to ensure that we are well placed to serve our customers, remain in line with the market and are able to offer our employees the chance to celebrate too.”

The jubilee bank holiday runs straight after the Spring bank holiday on Monday, June 4.

M&S join Edinburgh Woollen Mill as the second major employer refusing to grant staff normal Bank Holiday working conditions for the jubilee celebrations.

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