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Usdaw calls for respect for shopworkers on Boxing Day and throughout the festive period

Date: 21 December 2016 Shopworkers’ trade union leader John Hannett has urged shoppers to keep calm and show respect for retail staff when going out to the Boxing Day sales and throughout the festive period.

John Hannett – Usdaw General Secretary says: "Incidents of violence, threats and abuse against shopworkers are already worryingly high, with nearly half of shopworkers verbally abused last year and a quarter threatened. Almost 10% of shopworkers have been assaulted.

“Our members tell us that incidents of abuse always increase when there are sales events, shops are busy or there are issues to be dealt with like unwanted presents being returned. Boxing Day is already difficult for many shopworkers, with the vast majority preferring to be somewhere else other than work, perhaps spending time with their family or just getting a well-earned break after the incredibly busy run-up to Christmas.

“My message to shoppers is clear. Enjoy your shopping experience, but please 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 435,000 members. Membership has increased by more than 10% 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.

Interim results of the Usdaw’s survey, based on 2,250 responses, show that over the last 12 months 44% were verbally abused and 25% were threatened. 8.4% have been assaulted, with 32% not reporting the incident.

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