A review of Usdaw’s Freedom From Fear Campaign, past, present and the agenda for the future.
Download: Voices from the Frontline: Revisited
Date Posted: 30 April 2008
I launched Usdaw's Freedom From Fear campaign in 2002 to highlight
and tackle a rising tide of violence, threats and abuse against our
members and all shopworkers.
This high profile campaign
has attracted considerable support from the main retailers, their
trade associations, Government and the general public. Our members
and activists have worked hard to promote the campaign. The many
street stalls, petition signatures, postcard campaigns and MPs'
workplace visits have made a real difference.
Most importantly, the
campaign gives a strong message to our members, 'Abuse is not a
part of the job'. For too long shopworkers felt they had to put up
with verbal abuse and threats. They also felt there was no real
answer to violence against shopworkers.
I am proud to lead a
campaign that very clearly says to our members that unacceptable
behaviour from customers must not be a part of your daily working
lives. I am also proud that our Union is there to support our
members and challenge employers and the Government to deal with
this problem. We brought employers to the table to ensure that the
issues of violence, threats and abuse of retail staff were tackled
together. Some employers were ready to embrace our campaign, but
some were not aware of the issue initially. I am pleased to say
that our campaign has significantly improved employers' support for
a safe working environment in their stores.
The issues of violence,
threats and abuse against shopworkers were not on the Government's
agenda before we launched the Freedom From Fear campaign. That is
no longer the case. The Government is now delivering important
policies to help keep our members safe at work and tackle
anti-social behaviour in the wider community. I am delighted that
the Home Secretary has agreed to write a foreword for this
document, which clearly demonstrates the strength of our
Now that we are six years
into the campaign it is important that we reflect on what we have
achieved and assess the priorities for our future campaigning. This
- Reviews the Freedom From Fear
Campaign so far.
- Takes a snapshot of the current situation, using two
- Sets the campaigning agenda for the future.
I hope that this document
inspires you to work with me, campaigning to prevent violent
attacks, threatening behaviour and verbal abuse against
Usdaw General Secretary
Voices From the
Frontline: Revisited was correct at date of publication April