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Usdaw calls for TUC for maximum temperature law

24 September 2009

Usdaw has called on the TUC at its annual conference to turn up the heat on the debate on workplace temperatures

Usdaw President, Jeff Broome, spoke to conference in Liverpool last week, calling on TUC members to support the proposition by the Bakers, Food and Allied Workers' Union.  He brought an amendment, calling on the TUC to embark on a campaign aimed at publicising the need for legislation on a maximum temperature. A minimum temperature law already exists, but employers are only obligated to keep workplaces to a 'reasonable' temperature, meaning that many employees are forced to work under sweltering conditions that can prove damaging to their health.

John Hannett, Usdaw General Secretary, said: "We are pleased that the congress has voted to support our call for campaign to bring attention to the need to legislate for a maximum workplace temperature.Usdaw has been campaigning on this issue for many years, and are pleased that the government is now taking action and reviewing the situation. Many Usdaw members suffer from high temperatures at work. I am hopeful that a maximum temperature will be put in place by the end of this year so that, next summer, workers will be able to work comfortably and in the knowledge that they are protected in law. With rising temperatures being predicted over the coming years, it is even more important that we recognise this as an issue and take action for the good of working people."

Following pressure from Usdaw, the Government has asked the Health and Safety Executive to review the regulations on workplace temperature.  The Union is currently gathering evidence from its members to support the consultation.

Usdaw (the Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers) is the UK’s fourth biggest trade union, with over 380,000 members. Most Usdaw members work in the retail sector, but the union also has many members in transport, distribution, food manufacturing, chemicals and other trades.

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