Nia Griffith MP has been out and about in stores in the town centre and Station Road, supporting the Respect for Shopworkers’ campaign organised by USDAW, the retail workers’ union and the MP is also backing a new Bill that will give shopworkers legal protection against violence and abuse.
Nia Griffith MP said, “Usdaw’s Respect for Shopworkers’ Campaign is about just that- encouraging respect for shopworkers and raising awareness of the abuse they can face. It’s shocking that staff receive any sort of abuse from customers but I was really alarmed to hear from shop workers about the very aggressive behaviour of some individuals who are high on substances like Meow meow – this drug is not only a tragedy for those who use it and their families, but poses a very real threat to our communities – we must do everything we can to get rid of this scourge. I think it’s time to give shopworkers extra legal protection and so I am giving my full support to the Protection of Workers Bill.”
The Protection of Workers Bill aims to reduce incidents of violence, threats and abuse against all workers whose job brings them into face-to-face contact with members of the public. The Bill will create a new offence relating to assaults on public facing workers, one that will carry a maximum sentence of 12 months and a £10,000 fine.
During Respect for Shopworkers Week, held annually in November, Usdaw members campaign in shops and supermarkets and calling for legal protection for the country’s more than 2 million shopworkers. They are also reminding customers to ‘Keep Your Cool at Christmas’, a time when incidents of violence and abuse against shopworkers tends to increase.
Explaining Respect for Shopworkers Week, Usdaw General Secretary John Hannett said, “Respect for Shopworkers Week is a great opportunity for retail staff to highlight to both colleagues and customers that abuse, threats and violence against people trying to do their job is totally unacceptable and should never be tolerated and we are delighted to have the help and support of Nia Griffith MP.