by Tim Lezard Usdaw general secretary John Hannett has called for respect for shopworkers after interim results of a survey show that in the last twelve months more 300 frontline retail staff were assaulted every day, just for doing their job. Speaking …

Tim Lezard

images-2by Tim Lezard

Usdaw general secretary John Hannett has called for respect for shopworkers after interim results of a survey show that in the last twelve months more 300 frontline retail staff were assaulted every day, just for doing their job.

Speaking at the start of Respect for Shopworkers Week, John Hannett said: “Too often retail employees are confronted with violence, threats and abuse and it is really important we stand together and ask people to keep their cool and respect shopworkers.

“In the course of their duties, shopworkers are expected to enforce the law. Whether that is preventing under-age purchases of products like knives, tobacco or alcohol, or detaining shoplifters until the police arrive, they can be put in real danger. Parliament has given shopworkers the duty to enforce the law and Parliament should provide the necessary protection. So it has been disappointing to see Tory and Liberal MPs, on four occasions in the last couple of years, combine to vote down additional legal protections when proposed by Labour.

“I’ve been shocked by the leniency of some of the sentences handed out for the assault of workers and our survey shows there is a real need to tackle this problem. Every minute of every day another shopworker is assaulted, threatened or abused and it is time to say enough is enough. The Government must act to address this issue and act quickly.

“Usdaw continues to campaign for a change in the law to ensure that proper punishments are given out. We must give a clear message that assaulting workers who are serving the public is totally unacceptable.”


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Tim Lezard

Campaigning journalist, editor of @Union_NewsUK, NUJ exec member; lover of cricket, football, cycling, theatre and dodgy punk bands

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