Let’s respect shopworkers throughout the festive period

Iain Gray MSP has given his full backing to the shopworkers’ trade union’s call for shoppers to keep calm and show respect for retail staff when Christmas shopping and throughout the festive period, particularly in the post-Christmas sales.

Usdaw, the UK’s fourth biggest trade union, represents over 400,000 retail, transport and distribution staff, including many in the big retailers which are so busy at this time of year.

The union’s Freedom from Fear campaign highlights the hundreds of incidents of abuse, threats and physical attacks experienced by its members on a daily basis and urges the public to respect retail staff throughout the year, but especially at this potentially stressful time.

Iain Gray MSP said:

“Christmas can be a stressful time of the year but this can never be an excuse for abusing or threatening staff. All too often shopworkers and other retail staff here in East Lothian and across the country are confronted with violence, threats and abuse as they try and do their job.

“This is unacceptable at any time of the year, but it is especially important that we stand together and ask people to respect shopworkers and other staff over the hectic festive period.”

John Hannett, Usdaw General Secretary, said 

“Incidents of violence, threats and abuse against shopworkers are already worryingly high, with nearly two-thirds of shopworkers verbally abused last year and over 40% threatened. Our survey suggests that around 265 shopworkers are assaulted every day in the course of their duties.

“My message to shoppers is clear. Enjoy your shopping experience, but please keep your cool and respect shopworkers.”