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New law to protect Scottish shopworkers from violence and abuse progresses - Usdaw welcomes the support of MSPs

Date: 24 September 2020 Retail trade union Usdaw welcomes today’s Scottish Parliament stage one unanimous vote for a new law to protect shop workers from abuse, allowing the Bill to go to detailed scrutiny in committee. The Protection of Workers (Retail and Age-restricted Goods and Services) (Scotland) Bill is promoted by Daniel Johnson MSP.
Stewart Forrest – Usdaw’s Scottish Divisional Officer says: “We are delighted that MSPs have recognised that retail workers are subjected to unacceptable violence, threats and aggression every working day. We welcome the support of MSPs across the parties and of the Scottish Government. We congratulate Daniel Johnson MSP for the work he has done on behalf of our members and retail workers across Scotland by introducing this Bill and driving it forwards.
 
“Throughout the coronavirus emergency shop workers are ensuring that Scotland remains fed. Retail staff are at an increased risk of contracting Covid-19, yet they have continued to go to work and help respond to the crisis. Despite this, we have seen abuse, threats and violence against shop staff double this year.
 
“However abuse of shop workers is a problem in more normal times and, in our view, the current legal provisions do not sufficiently protect them. The Scottish Parliament’s support for the intentions of the Bill is welcome and we hope MSPs will continue to back it through the remaining stages.”
 
Paddy Lillis – Usdaw General Secretary says: “The Scottish Parliament is leading the way on protection of shopworkers by passing this Bill onto the next stage. At a time when we should all be working together to get through this crisis, it is a disgrace that people working to keep food on the shelves are being abused and assaulted. Action is required. Our message is clear, abuse is not part of the job.
 
“Retail staff are key workers delivering essential services and that role must be valued and respected, they deserve the protection of the law. Shops are the cornerstone of our communities and we continue to work with the employers to improve health and safety for staff. We also call on customers to stay calm and respect shopworkers.”
 
Notes for editors:
 
Usdaw (Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers) is the UK's fifth biggest trade union with over 400,000 members. Membership has increased by more than one-third over the last couple of decades. Most Usdaw members work in the retail sector, but the union also has many members in transport, distribution, food manufacturing, chemicals and other trades.
 
Protection of Workers (Retail and Age-restricted Goods and Services) (Scotland) Bill: https://www.parliament.scot/parliamentarybusiness/Bills/107499.aspx
 
For Usdaw press releases visit: http://www.usdaw.org.uk/news and you can follow us on Twitter @UsdawUnion

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