“Keep your Cool” when shopping urges Dawn Bowden AM
Dawn Bowden AM for Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney is reminding constituents to treat shop workers with respect so they can work free from the threat of violence and abuse. Putting on her Santa cap Dawn joined members of the shop workers union USDAW in the Senedd and said:
“The lead up to Christmas can be a busy and sometimes stressful time but we should always remember to treat shop workers with respect . Too many shop workers can be subject to threats and intimidation not just at Christmas, but all year round. That is why I support USDAW’s “Freedom from Fear” campaign and urge everyone to keep their cool when shopping”.
Dawn added “Sadly Interim results of Usdaw’s annual survey of shopworkers shows that verbal abuse and assaults over the last 12 months are up by 25% and threats have increased by 38%. This is in line with a British Retail Consortium survey, which earlier this year showed that abuse of shopworkers had increased by 40%”.
Dawn said “It cannot be right that we allow this problem to grow so let us all make a pledge to respect shopworkers and show them the respect they deserve”.
Usdaw (Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers) is the UK’s fifth biggest and the fastest growing trade union with over 430,000 members. Membership has increased by more than 28% over the decade. Most Usdaw members work in the retail sector, but the union also has many members in transport, distribution, food manufacturing, chemicals and other trades.
Respect for Shopworkers Week 2017 took place on 13-19 November. It is an annual event where shopworkers talk to the public about the problems of violence threats and abuse, asking customers to ‘keep their cool’. Part of the campaign will be encouraging shopworkers not to take abuse as part of the job and report incidents to their manager.
Interim results of the Usdaw’s 2017 survey, based on 1,455 responses, show that over the last 12 months: 62.34% were verbally abused (an increase of 25%), 40.49% were threatened (an increase of 38%) and 3.23% were assaulted (an increase of 25%), which equals 265 per day. 56.11% had not reported an incident of abuse and 21.79% of shopworkers physically attacked did not report the assault. 79.91% say there needs to be a change in the law to provide better protection for shopworkers. The final results of the 2017 survey will be published in the New Year.