Denton and Reddish MP, Andrew Gwynne, has called for greater protections for shopworkers and those in the retail sector more broadly as a Labour MP brings forward a motion in the House of Commons which seeks to make it a specific offence to obstruct a shopworker in their duty to enforce the law on the sale of offensive weapons.
USDAW, the trade union body which represents factory, retail and shopworkers, produced a survey recently which showed that two-thirds of shopworkers were verbally abused last year, 42% were threatened and there were over 265 assaults every day – this represents a 25% increase in abuse and assaults, with threats up by 38%.
Labour MP, Alex Norris (Nottingham North), has produced a 10-minute rule motion, Retail Workers (Offences) Bill, which will be debated today (15 October). USDAW is urging MPs to vote for an amendment to the Offensive Weapons Bill, which is due to be debated on Monday 15 October. New Clause One will make it a specific offence to obstruct a shopworker in their duty to enforce the law on the sale of offensive weapons.
Andrew Gwynne said:
“I’m backing this USDAW campaign because far too often shopworkers up and down the country are being attacked or verbally abused just for doing their duty to enforce the law.
“Shopworkers are members of our communities,and they deserve much better than this. They deserve to be treated with respect and protected from violence.”
Paddy Lillis – Usdaw General Secretary says:
“Abuse, threats and violence against shopworkers is a growing problem and a day-to-day reality for far too many workers employed in shops, supermarkets and convenience stores across the UK.
“Usdaw is bringing the everyday accounts of shopworkers who experience abuse, threats and violence to the attention of MPs and policymakers. We need the Government to listen and we
need action. We need a specific offence introduced for assaulting a shopworker who is simply enforcing the legal rules and regulations.”