NIA Griffith MP and Lee Waters AM joined members of the retail union Usdaw at the Llanelli Tesco last Friday (Nov 9) to highlight the aggressive behaviour that all too often shop-workers have to deal with.
Llanelli’s MP and AM were campaigning for protections for retail staff ahead of Respect for Shop-workers week (12th to 18th November). This week is part of Usdaw’s ‘Freedom From Fear’ campaign, which highlights the abuse, threats and violence that shop-workers face as part of their jobs and asks the public for support in the run-up to the busy Christmas period.
Interim results of Usdaw’s Freedom From Fear Survey show that 6 in 10 shop-workers in the UK experienced verbal abuse during 2018. It also reveals that 37% of shop-workers were threatened by a customer, with over 230 assaulted every day.
Nia Griffith MP said: “Most customers do treat shop-workers with respect, but unfortunately there are too many instances of staff facing abuse, threats and assault simply for doing their job. The appalling statistics show that we have a long way to go to tackle this issue and highlight why it is so important that Usdaw continues to campaign on it, especially at this busy time of the year.
“I am proud to campaign with my union Usdaw to for the protections that shop-workers deserve. We must send the message that abusing or assaulting people doing their jobs is completely unacceptable.”
Lee Waters AM added: “The level and nature of the abuse that shop workers receive on an all too regular basis is simply unacceptable. It is really important that we all support this campaign and for people to consider the hard work that Usdaw members do in highlighting this issue.
“We need to be loud and clear that treating everyone with dignity and respect is the basis of a healthy society.”
Paddy Lillis, the General Secretary of Usdaw, said: “We are grateful to Nia Griffith MP and Lee Waters AM for supporting our campaign to keep our members safe at work. Life on the frontline of retail can be pretty tough for many shop-workers. We launched our Freedom From Fear Campaign in the face of growing concerns amongst retail staff about violence, threats and abuse.
“This week our members are out campaigning on high streets, in shopping centres and stores; talking to the public and asking them to ‘keep their cool and respect shop-workers’. Retail staff have a crucial role in our communities and that role must be valued and respected.”