Respect shopworkers says Usdaw, as the new carrier bag charge is introduced

Date: 05 October 2015 Carrier bag charging begins in England today, similar to the charging already in place in Scotland, Wales & Northern Ireland. Retailers are now required by law to charge a minimum of 5p for every single use carrier bag used by a customer.
It's a Government levy aimed at reducing waste and shopworkers’ trade union leader John Hannett is calling on customers to respect retail staff.

John Hannett – Usdaw General Secretary says: “Every day shopworkers have to enforce a number of laws, like age identification. Sometimes customers can get frustrated with this and take it out on the staff. So the introduction of a new law, like carrier bag charging, can be a flashpoint for verbal abuse, threats or even violence.

“Therefore my message to customers is clear. Please respect shopworkers, they are just doing their job and have to comply with the law.

“Our surveys show that life on the frontline of retail can be pretty tough, with more than half suffering verbal abuse in the last twelve months. Retail staff have an important role in our communities and that role should be valued and respected.”

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 433,000 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.

Usdaw’s survey of 5,021 shopworkers asked participants about their experiences last year. The results were:
 
  • 3.1% assaulted
  • 33% threatened
  • 56.3% verbally abused
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.

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