Says Usdaw survey
Shopworkers’ trade union leader John Hannett is urging retail staff not to suffer in silence as the latest survey by Usdaw shows that 56% of those who experienced violence, threats or abuse at work did not report the incident to their employer. Worryingly 22 per cent of shopworkers who were physically attacked did not report the assault.
This week is Usdaw’s annual Respect for Shopworkers Week, 13 – 19 November, which was launched with shocking statistics revealing a big jump in incidents of violence threats and abuse against shopworkers, with abuse and assaults up by 25 per cent and threats increased by 38 per cent.
John Hannett – Usdaw General Secretary says: “All too often shopworkers encounter violence, threats and abuse for simply doing their job. So it is very concerning that one in five do not report something as serious as a violent attack to their employer.
“We are told that sometimes staff don’t feel it would make any difference if they do report incidents or that it’s just a part of being in a frontline job, dealing with the public and the problems that sometimes throws up.
“My message to shopworkers is very clear, abuse is not a part of the job. We are talking to employers to ensure that reporting systems are easily accessible and will make a real difference to the protection. However it is really important that staff do tell their manager when they experience violence, threats or abuse. If they report it we can help sort it.
“This week our campaign events will highlight to shoppers the problems shopworkers can face, particularly during the festive season, a period when incidents of verbal abuse can increase dramatically. In the run up to Christmas, customers are stressed, stores are really busy and sometimes things can boil over. That’s why we are asking shoppers to show respect for shopworkers and to ‘keep your cool at Christmas’. Retail staff have a crucial role in our communities and that role must be valued and respected.”