- Posted by: Joyce Watson MS
- Category: Feature
Joyce Watson AM has backed USDAW, the shopworkers’ trade union, in its call for respect for retail workers, after they released preliminary survey results showing that over one million shopworkers were assaulted, threatened or verbally abused in the last twelve months.
The survey shows that in the past year, 6% of shopworkers were subjected to violent attack, 37% were threatened with harm and a massive 70% had suffered verbal abuse. While reported incidents of assault are slightly down, incidents of threats and abuse have increased since last year.
Also revealed in the survey is that around 50% of incidents of abuse were as a result of checking before selling age-restricted products, like alcohol, cigarettes, aerosols, etc.
Joyce Watson AM said: “Shopworkers deserve respect and they have my full support. We must do more to help them do their job safely.
“I would like to see a high profile publicity campaign in support of ‘no id – no sale’ and ensuring that young people are aware that it is an offence to attempt to buy alcohol if you are under 18.”
“That is why I was delighted to join USDAW activists in making sure that the voices of shopworkers are heard.”
John Hannett, USDAW General Secretary, added: “We are delighted that Joyce Watson AM is supporting our campaign on behalf of shopworkers in Mid and West Wales.
“These figures are once again quite shocking and show that USDAW’s Freedom from Fear campaign is needed more than ever.
“Age restricted sales are an issue of real concern to our members. If they make a mistake and serve somebody under-18 they risk being prosecuted and receiving a £80 fine.
“If they fail to ask for age identification from somebody under-25, they run the risk of being disciplined for not following company policy.
“But asking for age identification can lead to abuse from customers who get frustrated and a refusal to serve can be a real flashpoint for threats or even violence. That’s why we are asking the shopping public to show respect and understand that the shopworkers are only doing what they’ve been told to do.”
For further details about Joyce Watson’s work or to contact her please click on www.joycewatson.co.uk.
To contact Joyce Watson please call her office on 029 20898614
Picture: Joyce Watson AM attended an USDAW event in the National Assembly. Joyce Watson AM put herself in the shoes of a shopworkers and got behind a checkout and experience for themselves the difficult situations our members face every day.