Over 27 South West shopworkers are assaulted every day – an Usdaw survey says
Shopworkers trade union leader John Hannett has released survey results which show that last year, on average, over 27 shopworkers were assaulted every day in the South West region, which is above the national average.
The survey also reveals that 34% of shopworkers were threatened by customers, which is the third highest in the country, and over half were verbally abused.
John – Usdaw general secretary said: “Our survey shows that life on the frontline of retail can be pretty tough for many shopworkers and there is still a lot to do to help protect them. So we welcome Labour’s manifesto commitment to ensure staff who work with the public are given greater protection, with tougher penalties for those who assault them.
“We launched our Freedom From Fear Campaign in the face of growing concerns amongst retail workers about violence, threats and abuse. The campaign works with retailers to promote respect and make workplaces safer for staff and customers alike.
“All too often criminals who assault staff are not even sent to court, and those who are can receive derisory sentences. In other cases, where the offender often isn’t charged at all victims are left feeling that no one cares that they were assaulted.
“Retail crime remains too high and there needs to be action to protect shopworkers. On four occasions in the current Parliament, Conservative and Liberal Democrat MPs combined to defeat Labour amendments to legislation that would have provided stiffer penalties for those who assault shopworkers.
“It is time for the Government to act and the record shows that a Labour Government will deliver. Retail staff have a crucial role in our communities and that role must be valued and respected.”
Yvette Cooper, Shadow Home Secretary, said: “I’m a big supporter of Usdaw’s Freedom From Fear campaign, raising awareness and ways to make people feel safer at work. I can assure everyone that a Labour Government will make sure staff working with the public get greater protection from attacks, with tougher penalties for criminals.
“Labour proposed this measure in the last Parliament on four occasions, but Conservative and Lib Dem MPs voted against us. So the choice is clear, for workers to get additional protection from violence, threats and abuse at work they will need to vote Labour.”
(from a press release)
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