Bridget Phillipson, Member of Parliament for Houghton and Sunderland South, has joined the retail union Usdaw in calling for an end to abuse in the workplace.
As part of Usdaw’s Freedom From Fear Campaign, which seeks to prevent violence, threats and abuse directed at retail staff, Usdaw members are highlighting the problems faced by staff during Respect for Shopworkers Week, which runs from 14 to 20 November.
In advance of the campaign, Bridget Phillipson MP said:
"Too often retail workers are confronted with violence, threats and abuse whilst serving the public. It is really important we stand together and ask people to keep their cool and respect shopworkers, especially as we approach the busy Christmas shopping period.
"I was shocked to hear about the abuse that shopworkers can receive. No one should have to go to work expecting abuse.
"I will continue to campaign with Usdaw to provide shopworkers the support they need and deserve. We must give a clear message that abusing or assaulting workers is totally unacceptable."
John Hannett, Usdaw General Secretary said:
"We are grateful to Bridget for supporting our campaign to keep our members safe at work.
"Often, in the course of their duties, shopworkers are expected to deal with tense and difficult situations.
“Unfortunately these can escalate to verbal abuse and assault. Over 300 shopworkers are assaulted every day and it is time to say enough is enough.
“Parliament has placed the legal obligation on shopworkers to enforce the law in relation to age restricted sales and Parliament must also ensure that the law also protects shopworkers who are doing their job.
“Politicians and members of the public must work together to ensure that shopworkers get the respect they deserve."