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Nia Griffith MP is backing Usdaw’s Freedom from Fear campaign to highlight the problem of abuse and violence against shopworkers.

The local MP joined Usdaw members at Tesco’s in Trostre this week to ask members of the public to “keep their cool” at Christmas and to sign a petition calling for tougher action against those who are abusive and violent to shopworkers.

Commenting on the campaign, Nia Griffith said:

“Whilst the overwhelming majority of customers respect shopworkers and don’t take out their stress on them, there are unfortunately far too many instances of abuse and violence against retail staff who are simply doing their job. No-one should have to put up with that, so we are highlighting the issue and campaigning for tougher penalties for those who persist in attacking shop staff.”

Shopworkers’ trade union Usdaw has launched Respect for Shopworkers Week with shocking statistics revealing that nearly one in ten shopworkers have been assaulted in the course of their duties, but almost a third of them didn’t report the incident.

Usdaw’s annual respect week, 14 – 20 November, is when the union’s reps and members organise awareness events as part of the Freedom from Fear Campaign, which seeks to prevent verbal abuse, threats and violent attacks at work.

Interim results of Usdaw’s Freedom From Fear Survey show that nearly half of shopworkers are verbally abused and a quarter are threatened. The survey continues and full results will be released in the New Year.