After years of opposition to Usdaw’s campaign for a new law to protect shopworkers, the Government has now decided to amend the Police, Crime Sentencing and Courts Bill in the House of Lords.
Usdaw welcomes this step in the right direction, but is seeking for the Government to go further than putting into statute existing sentencing guidance. The matter was raised in the House of Commons this morning, during Justice Questions, and Usdaw’s call received cross-party support.
Robert Halfon MP (Conservative, Harlow) asked for shopworkers to have the same protections as NHS workers. Shadow Justice Minister Afzal Khan (Labour, Manchester Gorton) called on Ministers to extend the new Scottish protection of shopworkers law to the rest of the UK.
Paddy Lillis - Usdaw General Secretary says:
“After years of campaigning we are pleased to have secured movement from the Government and that they have finally accepted the need to legislate to protect shopworkers from violence at work. Today, along with retail leaders, I’m meeting the Secretary of State to discuss their proposal and seeking to ensure that our members get the legal protections they deserve.
“Usdaw members working in retail have for too long been in the firing line of appalling behaviour from a significant minority of customers. Nine in ten shopworkers have faced abuse in the last year, with far too many also suffering threats and violence. A protection of workers law is long overdue, this could be a step in the right direction, but we still think the Government could go further.”
Notes for editors:
Usdaw (Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers)
is the UK's fifth biggest trade union with over 370,000 members. Most Usdaw members work in the retail sector, but the union also has many members in transport, distribution, food manufacturing, chemical industry and other trades.
For Usdaw press releases visit: http://www.usdaw.org.uk/news
and you can follow us on Twitter @UsdawUnion