Torfaen Member of Parliament and Shadow Home Secretary Nick Thomas-Symonds has backed USDAW’s Respect for Shopworkers Week. As part of the campaign, Mr Thomas-Symonds visited the Co-op store in Griffithstown to speak to shopworkers about their experience, and to echo USDAW’s calls for kindness and consideration when shopping, and particularly over the Christmas period.
Respect for Shopworkers Week, which this year took place from 16 to 22 November, is an important part of USDAW’s year-round Freedom From Fear campaign, which aims to raise awareness with the public that violence, threats and abuse against workers is unacceptable behaviour, and to give workers the confidence to speak out and report abuse, not accept it as part of the job.
USDAW’s annual survey this year found that 85% of shopworkers have experienced verbal abuse, while 57% were threatened by a customer. Over 3/4 of shopworkers say abuse had been worse than normal during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In support of the campaign, the Torfaen MP said: “Shopworkers have been at the frontline during the pandemic keep customers safe and food on the shelves. It is unacceptable that they have experienced unprecedented abuse while doing their job. I wholeheartedly support USDAW’s Respect for Shopworkers campaign and will continue to work with them to help keep shop workers safe.
“I would like to thank Co-op in allowing me to visit their Griffithstown store and see the good work they are doing at the frontline.”