One in seven women workers have safety concerns about their journeys to and from work

Date: 08 March 2012 The UK's fourth biggest Union Usdaw has today revealed that one in seven of its women members have safety concerns about their journeys to and from work.

In a report released today called 'What's happening on your journey to work?', Usdaw has published the results of a survey of its members which shows:

  • One in seven women workers sometimes feel unsafe travelling to and from work.
  • Women members are twice as likely to feel unsafe on their journeys to and from work as men.
  • Women aged over 60 are twice as likely to feel very unsafe when travelling as women aged under 24.
  • More than half of all women express concern about walking across dark car parks compared to less than a third of men.
  • Women are twice as likely as men to feel at risk driving alone at night or travelling by bus or train when dark.
  • Over half of all women feel anxious about their personal safety when walking in the dark.

Usdaw, the majority of whose members work in the retail sector, launched the survey after it became increasingly clear that many of its women members had concerns about their journeys to and from work. Many of the Union's members have shift patterns which mean they need to travel to and from work in the early morning or late at night and as a result are often travelling in the dark and when public transport is quieter or even non-existent.

As a result of the survey, the Union has launched a campaign to provide its members and Reps with advice and support on how they can make journeys to and from work safer, advice that includes how to raise concerns and negotiate with employers on the issue.

John Hannett, Usdaw General Secretary said:

"For the vast majority of workers, travelling to and from work is a safe experience, although at times it can be frustrating and expensive. However, it is of great concern to Usdaw and it should be for employers and policymakers that such a significant number of workers, whether they are women or men, can feel unsafe on their way to and from work."

"Usdaw has led the way in campaigning to improve safety at work for our members through, for example, our very successful Freedom From Fear campaign against violence and abuse. But it's clear we also need to campaign to reduce any fear of travelling to and from work and do all we can to try and make those journeys safer."

"As the relentless drive to a 24/7 society continues unabated, this issue is going to have to be addressed more seriously by employers, policymakers and politicians, particularly as evidence is beginning to emerge that the impact of government spending cuts is actually making the situation worse."

Notes for Editors:

  1. A copy of the report 'What's happening on your journey to work?' is available online.
  2. Usdaw is continuing to survey its members on this issue but the published report and figures quoted are based on 1,714 responses to the survey conducted between January and September 2011. 88% of respondents were women, 12% were men. Women of all ages took part in the survey; 11% were aged 16-24; 23% aged 25-30; 48% aged 40-59; 8% aged 60 plus; and 10% gave no age.
  3. The key survey figures are as follows:

How safe do you feel travelling to and from work?

Women

Men

Total

Very Unsafe

4.8%

3.7%

4.7%

Unsafe

10.4%

4.2%

9.5%

Have some concerns

25.6%

23.4%

25.4%

Safe

30.3%

25.5%

29.7%

Very safe

28.9%

43.2%

30.6%

Which of the following are concerns for you?

Women

Men

Total

Walking across dark car parks

58.4%

30.8%

48.5%

Unable to park near enough to work

22.4%

19.0%

22.0%

Leaving work on time to catch last bus or train

21.6%

11.3%

14.2%

Waiting for a bus/train where don't feel safe

12.9%

10.7%

13.1%

Travelling by bus/train when dark

16.0%

8.2%

15.0%

Driving alone

25.2%

10.9%

23.4%

Walking in the dark

53.1%

30.9%

51.3%

Mode of Travel to Work

Women

Men

Total

Bus

16.4%

11.4%

15.8%

Train

4.1%

4.6%

4.2%

Car

57.6%

51.8%

56.9%

Walk

21.7%

25.7%

22.2%

Other

0.2%

6.5%

0.9%

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

4. Further details of Usdaw's 'Have a safe journey to work campaign' and copies of the Union's campaign materials can be found at: http://www.usdaw.org.uk/safejourney

5. Usdaw (the Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers) is the UK's fourth biggest and fastest growing trade union with over 410,000 members. Membership has increased by more than 17% in the last five years and by nearly a third in the last decade. Most Usdaw members work in the retail sector, but the union also has many members in transport, distribution, food manufacturing, chemicals and other trades.

Share this page

Subscribe To eNews

Subscribe to receive our regular email updates and you will be entered into a FREE prize draw.

The official website of the Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers