Union campaigners were out in a Southampton supermarket raising awareness of the effects of the cost of living crisis on shop workers.

Representatives from USDAW - the Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers, were out in Sainsbury’s in Lordshill on Wednesday talking to members of the public.

They were out encouraging workers to join the union as they campaign for better working conditions such as an increase in minimum wage, a ban on zero hours contact and statutory sick pay for all workers from day one.

Daily Echo: Marco Ouriques, 33, the organising officer at USDAWMarco Ouriques, 33, the organising officer at USDAW (Image: NQ, Jose Ramos)

Marco Ouriques, 33, the organising officer at USDAW said: “We’re running a campaign to raise awareness to members of the public on the impact the cost-of-living crisis is having on shop workers.

“It’s not just the fact that prices are going up but it’s also affecting the fact that shop workers are getting abuse from members of the public who are shoplifting in the shops.”

He said that members regularly call in to cancel their membership as they feel the crunch.

He said: “Our members are frequently calling local offices to cancel their subscription because they can't afford to pay for subs which are £2.68 per week.

“With the gas and electricity bills going up which means our members are feeling the pinch."

He added: “The zero-hour contracts are wrong. If someone is given one of these contracts, they have no rights. There is no financial certainty. It’s ruining people’s lives.”

As well as hearing about the union’s work and how they can support employees, people were also able to grab a freebie such as a coffee cup, mug or pen.

He added: “We have had a lot of interactions from both the public and colleagues. People have been engaging really nicely. They’re talking to us and it’s giving us a lot of opportunities to speak.”

Usdaw members work in a variety of occupations and industries including shop workers, and factory and warehouse workers.

Many of its members work for Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Co-op, Morrison and Poundland.