From education to employment

Usdaw in Unique Agreement with Yang Sing Group for Lifelong Learning

The commercial worker’s union, Usdaw, has announced a ground ““ breaking new link ““ up with a popular Manchester ““ based restaurant, providing work ““ based learning access for the wokers.

The director of the restaurant (Cathay Dim Sum, part of the Yang Sing group and a popular venue in the Trafford Centre,) Mr. Laurence Lee initiated the project when it became clear that his thirty ““ strong team were interested in independent representation and better access to educational programmes offered through the union.

Usdaw Welcomes Approach

The general secretary of the Usdaw, John Hannett, spoke of his enthusiasm and excitement at this project when he stated: “Weve already signed up two thirds of the team and in Emma Lee we have an incredibly enthusiastic shop steward in place already. This is a very exciting new deal for us working with some of the most talented catering workers in the North West, but as we represent hundreds of retail workers around the Trafford Centre well be able to work closely with Emma and her team.”

Mr. Hannett went on to highlight the benefits of the educational provision that this would provide, saying: “The great news for our new members is that not only will they get the usual benefits of joining us in terms of day to day representation but they will be able to access our innovative Lifelong Learning scheme. Nationwide weve sent 10,000 of our members through this scheme accessing courses that aim to boost basic skills like literacy and maths.

“Our education team will be assessing the Cathay Dim Sum team to see what learning opportunities we can offer them in the future to strengthen their existing skills throughout the restaurant.”

Mr. Lee sees the integration of his staff in a union ““ an unusual step in an industry not noted for union participation ““ as beneficial for the creation of a better trained and more content work ““ force, saying: “This agreement is about the Chinese community understanding that there are real benefits in joining a union for both catering workers and the businesses we have worked hard to create,” Laurence said. “Im really pleased that my staff has taken up membership so enthusiastically and Im confident that this pioneering agreement will encourage other members of our community to look at the many different opportunities available to them.”

This project is believed to be the first major collaboration between a trade union and the workers of the booming Chinese restaurant trade, which it is hoped will be the first of many expanding the range of educational support offered to workers in industry throughout the United Kingdom.

Jethro Marsh

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