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Usdaw calls for support for a new law protecting Scottish shopworkers from violence

Date: 17 April 2018 Shopworkers’ trade union Usdaw and businesses are supporting a new law to protect workers. Labour MSP Daniel Johnson is promoting a Bill that would create new offences regarding the assault of shopworkers and others, like bar and pub staff, who are involved in the sale and supply of age-restricted good and services. The consultation period on the Bill closes this Friday 20 April.
John Hannett – Usdaw General Secretary says: “All too often criminals who assault staff are not even sent to court, those who are can receive derisory sentences. In other cases, where the offender isn’t even charged, victims are left feeling that no one cares that they were assaulted. So Daniel Johnson’s bid to provide stiffer penalties for those who assault workers is really important to our members and we encourage as many as possible to participate in the consultation
 
“Our members need there to be a simple stand-alone offence that is widely recognised and understood by the public, police, the judiciary and most importantly criminals. We hope that MSPs from all parties and the Scottish Government will listen to our members, the Scottish Grocers’ Federation and Scotmid Co-operative by giving this Bill their full support.
 
Stewart Forrest – Usdaw’s Scottish Divisional Officer says: “Shopworkers are on the frontline of policing the law on the sale of alcohol, knives, glue and acid. Parliament has given them the responsibility to police those laws, so parliament should provide shopworkers with the necessary protection. Retail staff have a crucial role in our communities and that role must be valued and respected.”
 
“The statistics are shocking and show that urgent action is required. Usdaw’s Freedom From Fear Survey shows that in Scotland 70% of shopworkers were verbally abused and 42% were threatened over the last 12 months. 5% were assaulted over the last year, which is around 34 Scottish shopworkers physically attacked every day.”
 
“Usdaw is running a postcard campaign to drum up support for the Bill, which people can do online at www.usdaw.org.uk/ProtectShopworkers I would also encourage anyone who can to contribute to the consultation at www.notpartofthejob.com and have their say on how we can protect workers.”
 
Notes for editors:
 
Usdaw (Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers) is the UK's fifth biggest and the fastest growing trade union with over 430,000 members. Membership has increased by more than 28% over the 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 2017 survey from Scottish shopworkers, based on 339 responses, show that over the last 12 months: 70.8% were verbally abused, 42.4% were threatened and 5.01% were assaulted.
 
 For Usdaw press releases visit: http://www.usdaw.org.uk/news and you can follow us on Twitter @UsdawUnion
 

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