David Rees AM backs the shopworkers’ call for respect

David Rees AM has backed Usdaw, the shopworkers’ trade union, at the launch in the Assembly of its annual Respect for Shopworkers week. This year’s campaign is focused on the need for a stronger law to protect shopworkers against violence and abuse. The union is also highlighting the under-reporting of attacks with 1 in 6 not being reported by shopworkers to management or the police.

Usdaw activists in shops and supermarkets across Wales are holding campaign events to urge colleagues and customers to back a change in the law to provide stiffer sentences for those who assault workers serving the public.

They are also reminding customers to ‘Keep Your Cool at Christmas’, a time when incidents of violence and abuse against shopworkers tend to increase.

David Rees AM said “It is shocking that so many people seem to think that it is acceptable to abuse and attack those who serve us in the shops. Strengthening the law would send a clear message to potential assailants that such behaviour will not be tolerated and encourage shopworkers to come forward and report attacks. Sadly the problems are often worst in the run-up to Christmas when customers are stressed and shops are at their busiest. I am happy to join Usdaw in urging people to show respect for shopworkers and to ‘Keep your cool at Christmas’.”

Usdaw Divisional Officer Nick Ireland said: “It’s a sad fact that every minute of every day a shopworker somewhere is assaulted, threatened or abused. Respect for Shopworkers Week is a great opportunity for retail staff to talk to the public about these problems and seek their support in saying that there is never an excuse for attacks on them. It is always encouraging to see how many Assembly Members back our campaign.”