To mark National Respect for Shopworkers Week, Denton and Reddish MP Andrew Gwynne is encouraging constituents to sign Usdaw’s petition to protect retail workers from abuse, violence and threats.
The petition, on Parliament’s website, calls for legislation that creates a specific offence of abusing, threatening or assaulting a retail worker, carrying a penalty that acts as a deterrent to make it clear that abuse of retail workers is unacceptable.
The Coronavirus pandemic has seen cases of abuse, threats and violence towards retail workers increase significantly. Results from an Usdaw survey of 2,000 shop staff has found:
- 76% say abuse has been worse than normal during the Covid-19 pandemic,
- 85% of shopworkers have experienced verbal abuse,
- 57% were threatened by a customer,
- 9% were assaulted.
Andrew Gwynne said:
“Violence, abuse and threatening behaviour is absolutely unacceptable in any workplace, but unfortunately we’ve seen this become far too commonplace in retail.
“Retail workers have played such an important role in keeping our country going during this crisis and the fact that they have increasingly had to experience abuse is appalling.
“I agree with Usdaw that we need new legislation to help protect these key workers and would encourage all of my constituents to sign the petition so that this can be debated in Parliament.