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Usdaw members urge MPs to support the protection for shopworkers amendment to the Offensive Weapons Bill

Date: 18 September 2018 Shopworkers’ trade union Usdaw is urging MPs to vote for an amendment to the Offensive Weapons Bill that will make it a specific offence to obstruct a shopworker in their duty to enforce the law on the sale of offensive weapons.
The move is backed by the British Retail Consortium (BRC) who recently tweeted: “More than 50 retail workers are injured in attacks every day. Great to see the much needed protection for shopworkers amendment tabled to the Offensive Weapons Bill.”
Paddy Lillis – Usdaw General Secretary says: “When retail employers and the shopworkers’ trade union agree on measure to protect staff, we hope that MPs will take notice. Our members are now getting in touch with their MP, asking them to vote for the amendment.
“We support and we very much welcome the Bill, which seeks to address the shocking increase in the use of acid and knives as offensive weapons. It is absolutely right that we do everything possible to prevent these terrible attacks.
“Shopworkers will have a vital role policing these new laws, yet they are offered no additional protection. In fact shopworkers can be treated like criminals if a mistake is made at the checkout. There needs to be a fair balance.
“Shopworkers are on the frontline helping to keep our communities safe. Their role should be valued, they deserve our respect, but most of all they deserve the protection of the law.”
Constituents can help the campaign by asking their MP to vote for new clause 1 of the Offensive Weapons Bill. It’s quick and easy to do with Usdaw’s online ‘e-mail your MP facility’ at: www.usdaw.org.uk/ShopWorkersEmailMP
The remaining stages of the Offensive Weapons Bill are expected to be taken in the House of Commons on Monday 15 October 2018.
Notes for editors:
Usdaw (Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers) is the UK's fifth biggest and the fastest growing trade union with around 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.
Offensive Weapons Bill: New Clause 1 - Protection for retail staff
To move the following Clause—
(1) A person (“the purchaser”) commits an offence if they intentionally obstruct a
person (“the seller”) in the exercise of their duties under section 1 of this Act.
(2) In this section, “intentionally obstruct” includes, but is not limited to, a person
acting in a threatening manner.
(3) A person guilty of an offence under subsection (1) is liable on summary
conviction to a fine not exceeding level 4 on the standard scale.
Sponsoring MPs: David Hanson, Ruth George, Vernon Coaker, Kate Green, Luciana Berger, Mr Ben Bradshaw, Ian Murray, Gareth Thomas and Ann Coffey.
For Usdaw press releases visit: http://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