Political backing for campaign to protect shop workers

Scottish Labour MSP Claire Baker with Lawrence Wason Divisional Officer and Jacqueline Martin Usda member and Clive the reindeer for Usdaw at The Scottish Parliament

Scottish Labour MSP Claire Baker with Lawrence Wason Divisional Officer and Jacqueline Martin Usda member and Clive the reindeer for Usdaw at The Scottish Parliament

  • 300 shopworkers assaulted every day
  • Union calls for people to show respect
  • Freedom From Fear campaign goes to Holyrood
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A union’s campaign to protect shopworkers from violence, threats and abuse has won the backing of politicians.

Claire Baker, MSP for Mid Scotland and Fife, joined USDAW members at an event at the Scottish Parliament.

The ‘Freedom From Fear’ campaign wants to prevent violence, threats and abuse directed at retail staff – USDAW raised the issues facing its union members as part of Respect for Shopworkers Week.

Threats range from verbal abuse to assault

John Hannett, Usdaw general secretary added: ‘‘Often, in the course of their duties, shopworkers are expected to deal with tense and difficult situations. Unfortunately these can escalate to verbal abuse and assault.

“Over 300 shopworkers are assaulted every day and it is time to say enough is enough.

“Parliament has placed the legal obligation on shopworkers to enforce the law in relation to age restricted sales and Parliament must also ensure that the law also protects shopworkers who are doing their job.

“Politicians and members of the public must work together to ensure that shopworkers get the respect they deserve.”

He said it was important people showed respect especially as we approach the busy festive shopping period.

Ms Baker said she was shocked to hear about the levels of abuse, and said: ‘‘No one should have to go to work expecting abuse.

“I will continue to campaign with Usdaw to provide shopworkers the support they need and deserve. We must give a clear message that abusing or assaulting workers who are serving the public is totally unacceptable.”