Damage to shops and looting
has been a common feature in the violence. Usdaw, the Trade Union
representing shopworkers, is calling on the Police and employers to
make every effort to ensure that retail workers, customers and
local residents are not put at risk.
The Union recognises that
this is a very difficult time and many retailers have made every
effort to ensure that staff are not put at risk. We are currently
working with retail businesses to minimise the risk to staff and
The Union welcomes the fact
that many retailers are urgently reviewing their security measures
at this time. Some examples of steps that employers can take
- Communicate with staff at the earliest
- Ensure that alarms, CCTV, protective barriers and panic
buttons are in good working order and that staff are aware of how
to use them.
- Provide extra security where appropriate.
- Implement procedures to prevent cash from building up in
tills and ensure that banking or cashing up procedures are carried
out by specialist security staff only.
- Review shift patterns to ensure adequate staffing
levels - in particular, ensuring that staff are not left
vulnerable by working on their own.
- Ensure that rigorous incident reporting measures are in
place and followed at all times.
- Check fire safety procedures are operational.
We would urge our members to
familiarise themselves with their company procedures for dealing
with thefts and other incidents, and we remind our members that
they should never put themselves in physical danger to prevent
shoplifting, looting or damage to property.
Any incident of violence or
intimidation should be reported immediately in line with company
In the event of rioting or
the threat of trouble, employers should seriously consider closing
their premises in order to protect staff and customers. Usdaw is
urging employers to pay workers the full wage for the contracted
hours in any business that has to close early.
If a business is unable to
open, either due to damage or as a precaution, Usdaw expects
employers to make every effort to find an alternative place of work
for employees to report to. In the event that no alternative can be
found, the Union would expect staff to be paid their usual
and Travelling To and From Work
Workers have encountered
problems travelling to and from work in certain areas due to
traffic delays and disruption to public transport.
Usdaw is calling on
employers to take into consideration these transport problems.
Workers through no fault of their own may be delayed in their
journeys to work and may need to finish work early in order to get
home in reasonable time.
During this difficult time,
Usdaw would urge employers to pay workers for the full contracted
hours even if workers, for legitimate reasons, get to work late or
have to leave early.
Safety of Workers
and Customers - the Number One Priority
Usdaw members have shown
that they are committed to communities having access to local
shops. Where possible, Usdaw members have ensured that shops
continue to trade and that deliveries have been made to these
Usdaw is calling on retailers to fully support their staff by
making the safety of their employees and customers their number one