Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers

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Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers
USDAW logo.png
PredecessorNational Union of Distributive and Allied Workers
National Union of Shop Assistants, Warehousemen and Clerks
Founded1 January 1947
HeadquartersVoyager Building, 2 Furness Quay, Salford Quays, Manchester, M50 3XZ
~ 396,000
Key people
Paddy Lillis, General Secretary
Jane Jones, President
AffiliationsTUC, ICTU, STUC, Labour[1]

The Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers (Usdaw) is a trade union in the United Kingdom, consisting of around 396,000 members. Usdaw members work in a variety of occupations and industries including: shopworkers, factory and warehouse workers, drivers, call centres, clerical workers, milkround and dairy process, butchers and meat packers, catering, laundries, chemical processing, home shopping and pharmaceutical. The retail sector employs around 2.77 million people.


The union was formed in 1947 by the merger of the National Union of Distributive and Allied Workers and the National Union of Shop Assistants, Warehousemen and Clerks. Some other unions have since merged in, including the Amalgamated Society of Boot and Shoe Makers and Repairers in 1955,[2] and the Scottish Union of Bakers and Allied Workers in 1978.[3]


Alison Johnstone MSP (right) and two others showing a Respect Shopworkers sign

USDAW has a managerial and supervisory section called Sata - the Supervisory, Administrative and Technical Association. This is a special section of the union representing employees in middle and lower management or with administrative or technical responsibilities.

USDAW is the recognised trade union for workers employed by Tesco; consequently, it has the biggest recognition agreement in the private sector and more than 160,000 (over a third) of its members work for Tesco. Other companies that have signed partnership agreements with USDAW include Morrisons, Sainsbury's, The Co-operative Group, Primark, Asda, Argos and Boots.

USDAW is campaigning for a recognition agreement with Marks and Spencer.[4]


USDAW produces a quarterly membership magazine for members, Arena, as well as a bimonthly magazine for union activists, Network.

General Secretaries[edit]

1947: Joseph Hallsworth
1949: Alan Birch
1962: Alf Allen
1979: Bill Whatley
1986: Garfield Davies
1997: Bill Connor
2004: John Hannett
2018: Paddy Lillis


1947: Percy Cottrell
1948: Walter Padley
1964: Dick Seabrook
1965: Rodney Haines
1967: Dick Seabrook
1974: Jim D. Hughes
1977: Sydney Tierney
1991: Audrey Wise
1997: Marge Carey
2006: Jeff Broome
2018: Amy Murphy
2021: Jane Jones


  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on March 11, 2012. Retrieved July 18, 2013.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^ Arthur Marsh and Victoria Ryan, Historical Directory of Trade Unions, vol.3, p.427
  3. ^ Arthur Marsh and John B. Smethurst, Historical Directory of Trade Unions, vol.5, pp.184-185
  4. ^ "USDAW - Marks and Spencer". www.usdaw.org.uk. Retrieved 2020-10-02.

External links[edit]