USDAW, the trade union body which represents factory, retail and shopworkers, produced a survey recently which showed that two-thirds of shopworkers were verbally abused last year, 42% were threatened and there were over 265 assaults every day – this represents a 25% increase in abuse and assaults, with threats up by 38%.
USDAW is urging MPs to vote for an amendment to the Offensive Weapons Bill, to be debated today (Monday 22 October), which will make it a specific offence to obstruct a shopworker in their duty to enforce the law on the sale of offensive weapons.
Jeff Smith said:
“Far too often shopworkers are being attacked or verbally abused just for enforcing the law on the sale of offensive weapons.
“Shopworkers are members of our communities and they deserve to do their job without the threat of violence, so I hope the debate today will lead to greater protections.”
Paddy Lillis – Usdaw General Secretary says:
“Abuse, threats and violence against shopworkers is a growing problem and a day-to-day reality for far too many workers employed in shops, supermarkets and convenience stores across the UK.
“Usdaw is bringing the everyday accounts of shopworkers who experience abuse, threats and violence to the attention of MPs and policymakers. We need the Government to listen and we need action. We need a specific offence introduced for assaulting a shopworker who is simply enforcing the legal rules and regulations.”