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Usdaw has backed police calls for retailers to improve security on Black Friday

Date: 11 November 2015 Shopworkers’ trade union leader John Hannett has welcomed advice from the National Police Chiefs' Council saying that shops must put adequate security in place to avoid a repeat of the scuffles seen during last year's Black Friday sales.
John Hannett – Usdaw General Secretary says: "Our members have real concerns about Black Friday on 27 November, so we welcome this early intervention by the police today. The last two years have seen unprecedented scenes of mayhem in some stores, as bargain hunting turns into a frenzy. We have been talking to retailers on behalf of our members about organising their events to maximise safety and security for staff and customers alike.”

“This week is Usdaw’s Respect for Shopworkers Week, when we highlight the problems violence, threats and abuse shopworkers can face. We have released interim results of our annual survey of shopworkers, which shows a slight decline in the number of incidents, but the overall figures are still shockingly high.

“Over half of shopworkers were verbally abused in the last year, with more than 10% on a weekly or daily basis, 3 in 10 were threatened with violence and over 2% were assaulted.

“My message to shoppers is clear. Enjoy your shopping experience, keep your cool and respect shopworkers.”

Notes for editors:

Usdaw (Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers)
is the UK's fourth biggest and the fastest growing trade union with over 440,000 members. Membership has increased by more than 17% in the last five years and by nearly a third in the last decade. Most Usdaw members work in the retail sector, but the Union also has many members in transport, distribution, food manufacturing, chemicals and other trades.

Respect for Shopworkers Week is the annual campaign week and part of Usdaw’s Freedom from Fear Campaign. This year it is 9-13 November when shopworkers across the country are organising events to raise awareness with the public about what life is like on the frontline of working in retail.

Interim results of Usdaw’s Freedom From Fear Survey: The survey was conducted in face-to-face interviews of 2,536 shopworkers by Usdaw reps who asked them to talk about their experiences at work over the last twelve months.
  • How often have you been a victim of verbal abuse?                                  
    1-3 times 33%, Monthly 8%, Weekly 8%, Daily 3% Total abused 52
  • How often have you been threatened by a customer?
    1-3 times 24%, Monthly 4%, Weekly 1.5%, Daily 0.5% Total threatened 30%
  • 9% have been a victim of physical violence from customers, 2.13% in the last twelve months and 22.5% didn’t report it to their employer.                                                 
For Usdaw press releases visit: www.usdaw.org.uk/news and you can follow us on Twitter @UsdawUnion

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The official website of the Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers