Wednesday 15 November 2023

Shopworkers facing “unacceptable levels of violence and abuse”

John Healey, says shopworkers across the borough are having to deal with unacceptable levels of violence and abuse.

It’s after the shopworkers union Usdaw revealed two-thirds of its members working in retail are suffering abuse from customers.

Shocking statistics from the union’s annual survey revealed:

  • 65% have experienced verbal abuse.
  • 42% were threatened by a customer.
  • 5% were assaulted.
  • 60% of incidents were triggered by shoplifting.

John Healey said: “The latest figures from USDAW are truly shocking with shopworkers across our area facing unacceptable levels of violence and abuse.

“Shopworkers have reported that they’ve been spat at, threatened with knives and faced verbal abuse.

“The busy Christmas period is approaching and it’s important that we respect our shopworkers who provide an important service. Abuse should not be part of the job.

“Labour would create a new specific offence of assault against retail workers. We will reverse the Conservative Government’s decision to downgrade the response to shoplifting under £200, to make it easier to take action against repeat offenders and return to proper neighbourhood policing.”

This week is annual Respect for Shopworkers Week which aims to highlight the issues faced by public facing workers and make it clear that abuse is not part of the job.

The annual Respect for Shopworkers Week runs from 13-19 November, with Usdaw members also raising awareness of the union’s year-round Freedom from Fear Campaign.

You can find out more here: USDAW – Respect for Shopworkers Week

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