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Usdaw and retailers call on the Government to legislate to protect shop workers from violence threats and abuse

Date: 24 September 2020 Retail trade union leader Paddy Lillis has welcomed the support of retail employers and their representative bodies for legislation to protect shopworkers from violence. Tomorrow (25 September 2020) the Assaults on Retail Workers (Offences) Bill, promoted by Alex Norris MP (Labour/Co-op, Nottingham North) is timetabled for its second reading in the House of Commons.
This week 23 major British retailers and the sector’s leading industry bodies wrote to the Prime Minister asking him to provide effective legal protection for shop workers in the face of increasing levels of abuse and violence. The letter states:
 
“In partnership with our colleagues on the front-line, with Usdaw and with a cross-party coalition of MPs, we support Alex Norris’ Private Members Bill to provide that greater protection for our colleagues.
 
“This united response from business leaders, trade unions and frontline workers should demonstrate the need for these additional protections. We believe there is a clear and broad-based consensus behind this Bill, and we ask that the Government acts now to support this important Bill and find time for it to pass through Parliament.”
 
In response to continued growing assaults, threats and abuse against shopworkers and the doubling of incidents during the coronavirus emergency, shop workers’ trade union leader Paddy Lillis launched a parliamentary petition calling on the Government to legislate to protect shopworkers, which now has over 60,000 signatures.

The petition can be signed at: https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/328621
 
Paddy Lillis- Usdaw General Secretary says: “Action to protect shop workers is needed and that is why we have launched a petition, which now has over 60,000 signatures. We were deeply disappointed by the Government’s response to the petition, offering little more than sympathy.
 
“I urge the Government to listen to the voices of shopworkers and retailers by legislating for stiffer penalties for those who assault workers. If they want to turn their words of sympathy into action, they have the opportunity to support the Bill proposed by Alex Norris MP and help it onto the statute book.
 
“When the trade union for shop workers and retailers unite in a call for action, it should be time for the Government to sit up, listen to our concerns and deliver much needed protection for staff. Abuse must never be just a part of the job.”
 
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.
 
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