Paddy Lillis – Usdaw General Secretary says:
“It is deeply disappointing that the Government has ploughed on with ending mandatory safety measures within shops on Monday, despite concerns from shopworkers. So we welcome the early responses from the retail industry and we hope all stores will continue to put staff and customer safety first.
“The Government’s guidance issued yesterday provides no assurances for staff or employers, it is a real mess. Protection for retail workers through customers wearing face coverings and maintaining social distancing should be backed up by the law and not left to individual choice.
“Without clear direction from the Government, we continue to ask employers to think about their duty of care to staff and promote existing safety measures to the shopping public. We also ask customers to show their support and respect for shopworkers by continuing to wear face coverings, observe hand hygiene and maintain social distancing.
“Retail staff already face unacceptable levels of abuse and making Covid safety measures guidance only, instead of having the force of law behind them, could put more shopworkers at risk. We need more retailers to keep their Covid safety measures in place to avoid confusion and send a clear message to shoppers.
“Wearing a face covering is an important measure to help protect workers who have no option but to interact with the public. Many retail workers are at a greater risk of catching the virus and bringing it home to their families. They have worked throughout the pandemic to keep the country fed and deserve to be valued, respected and protected.”
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