Co-op trade union Naco votes to transfer into Usdaw

Naco members were balloted following a decline in membership

A ballot of Naco (National Association of Co-operative Officials) members has resulted in 82% voting for a transfer of engagements into Usdaw, the shopworkers’ trade union.

Naco began looking at a potential transfer into Sata, the management arm of Usdaw (Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers) in 2017, its centenary year.

The co-op trade union has represented managers at the Co-operative Group, Central England, Channel Islands, Chelmsford Star, East of England, Heart of England, Lincolnshire, Midcounties, Scotmid and Southern. It has also worked with various other co-operatives including The Phone Co-op, Co-operatives UK, The Co-operative College and Well Pharmacy, among others, but had seen a decline in membership.

This year’s ballot, which had a 24% turnout, means the transfer to Usdaw will go ahead. The trade union is hopeful that the transfer will be effective from Tuesday, 1 May 2018.

“While this is a sad day for Naco, having celebrated our centenary last year, the transfer into the Sata section of Usdaw is a necessary and positive move,” said Bob Lister, Naco interim general secretary.

“It means that Naco members will continue to be protected by a strong and respected voice within the co-op movement, where both our unions have represented staff for many years.

“The Naco membership have given us a clear mandate to do what they believe is in the best interests of all. It has been a challenging few months to get to this position, but we’re now looking forward to a very positive future.”

Usdaw is the UK’s fifth biggest trade union, with over 430,000 members. It is also the fastest growing, with membership increasing by more than 28% over the last decade.

“We are delighted that Naco has opted to transfer into Usdaw and we welcome their members to our union,” said John Hannett, Usdaw general secretary.

“This decision ensures Naco members have the backing of an experienced and knowledgeable trade union. Usdaw has had a long relationship with the Co-op, we understand the business and already represent tens of thousands of their staff. That means we can hit the ground running when Naco members join us in May and provide a smooth transition.”

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