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Welsh Congress 2022: Usdaw raises the cost of living crisis and protection of retail workers from abuse, threats and violence

Date: 24 May 2022 Retail trade union Usdaw has a delegation of reps and officials attending the Biennial Congress of Wales TUC in Venue Cymru, Llandudno from 24 to 26 May. Usdaw is calling for action to tackle the growing cost of living crisis and the significant increase in abuse of retail workers.
Paddy Lillis – Usdaw general Secretary says: “Spiralling household bills are putting many under pressure at a time when real wages are now lower than in 2008. The Joseph Rowntree Foundation has found that poverty has risen steeply in recent years, with 23% of Welsh people now in poverty. Increased energy, food and fuel prices, along with the removal of the £20 weekly uplift to Universal Credit, are having a devastating impact on families in Wales.
 
“We welcome the actions of the Welsh Government to combat the cost of living crisis, including emergency measures to help offset the Universal Credit cut and the £51m household support fund. We call on the Welsh Government to deliver a new deal for workers so that Wales truly becomes a fair work nation.”
 
Paddy Lillis continues: “There has been a significant increase in abuse of retail workers, with nine in ten reporting they’d been attacked when simply doing their job. This issue disproportionately impacts women, young workers, along with black and minority ethnic workers, who are often on the receiving end of the worst types of abuse. Retail crime needs to be tackled through raising awareness among the shopping public and ensuring local police forces have proactive strategies in place to deal with the issue.”
 
Usdaw is calling for the Wales TUC to:
  • Support Usdaw's Freedom From Fear Campaign; highlighting the significant increase in abuse during the pandemic.
  • Engage with Police and Crime Commissioners to develop effective strategies to tackle retail crime.
  • Make the case to employers to protect retail workers and enforce zero tolerance policies in stores. 
Notes for editors:
 
Usdaw (Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers) is the UK's fifth biggest trade union with around 360,000 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.

For Usdaw press releases visit: http://www.usdaw.org.uk/news and you can follow us on Twitter @UsdawUnion

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