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PM urged by Usdaw to back a protection of shopworkers law

Date: 13 September 2021 Retail trade union leader Paddy Lillis has today written to the Prime Minister urging him to step in and support a protection of shopworkers amendment to their flagship crime bill, which has its second reading in the House of Lords tomorrow.
Shocking statistics from Usdaw’s annual survey lay bare the scale of the problem. Preliminary results, released last month, from nearly 2,000 retail staff across the UK show that in the last twelve months:
  • 92% have experienced verbal abuse,
  • 70% were threatened by a customer,
  • 14% were assaulted.
  • One in five victims have never reported an incident to their employer, including 5% who had been assaulted. 
Paddy Lillis – Usdaw General Secretary says: “When retail employers, leading retail bodies, the Home Affairs Select Committee and the shopworkers’ trade union jointly call for legislation, it is time for the Government to listen and bring forward the amendment to their policing bill, as Ministers promised in the House of Commons. We urge the Government to keep to their word and ensure that the measure they bring forward is substantial and delivers much needed protections.
 
“In Scotland, MSPs voted through a new ground-breaking law to give shopworkers the protection they deserve, which came into force last month. We are now looking for the House of Lords to similarly support key workers across the retail sector, who regularly suffer violence and abuse, by helping to turn around the UK Government’s past opposition to new legislation.”
 
Notes for editors:
 
Usdaw (Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers) is the UK's fifth biggest trade union with over 380,000 members. Most Usdaw members work in the retail sector, but the union also has many members in transport, distribution, food manufacturing, chemical industry and other trades.
 
Letter to the Prime Minister: www.usdaw.org.uk/FFFletterPM
 
Preliminary results of the Usdaw’s 2021 survey, based on 1,966 responses, show that in 2020 so far: 92.17% were verbally abused, 70.14% were threatened. 25.13% shopworkers had been assaulted during their career. 14.04% had been assaulted this year. The final results of the survey will be published in the New Year.
 
Protection of Workers (Retail and Age-restricted Goods and Services) (Scotland) Act 2021: https://www.legislation.gov.uk/asp/2021/6
 
For Usdaw press releases visit: http://www.usdaw.org.uk/news and you can follow us on Twitter @UsdawUnion

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The official website of the Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers