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New law to protect Scottish shopworkers moves to the next stage Usdaw welcomes the progress

Date: 17 November 2020 Shopworkers’ trade union Usdaw welcomes protection of shopworkers legislation passing stage two in the Scottish Parliament, which would make it a specific offence to abuse, threaten or assault a shopworker.
The Protection of Workers (Retail and Age-restricted Goods and Services) (Scotland) Bill is promoted by Daniel Johnson MSP and will now move to the third and final stage.
Stewart Forrest, Usdaw Divisional Officer says, “We welcome the support of MSPs and congratulate Daniel Johnson MSP for the work he has done on behalf of our members and retail workers across Scotland by introducing this Bill and driving it forward. Shopworkers have been on the frontline throughout the coronavirus crisis, helping to ensure our communities remain fed, despite the risks of contracting the virus. As a result of the crisis, we have seen a doubling of abuse against shop staff.
“Traditional flashpoints, like shop theft, age-restricted sales and serving alcohol, have now been overtaken by customer abuse because of long-queueing times, social distancing measures and the requirement to wear face coverings. During this year’s Respect for Shopworkers week Usdaw is promoting the message that abuse is not part of the job. We are asking customers to understand that retail staff are key workers delivering an essential service and they deserve respect.
“This crisis has highlighted the need for a new law as we believe the current legal provisions are not fit for purpose. Usdaw is delighted that Daniel Johnson’s Bill has now passed the second stage of the Scottish Parliamentary process and will be encouraging all MSPs to protect shopworkers and vote in favour of the Bill at the third and final stage.”
Paddy Lillis – Usdaw General Secretary says: “This is very welcome news in the middle of our Respect for Shopworkers Week. We are grateful to Daniel Johnson on steering this important legislation through the Scottish Parliament so far. We look forward to a successful third stage and the continued support of MSPs from all parties.
“The Scottish Parliament is leading the way on protection of shopworkers by passing this Bill onto the next stage. Retail staff are key workers and their role must be valued and respected, they deserve the protection of the law.”
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.
Protection of Workers (Retail and Age-restricted Goods and Services) (Scotland) Bill: https://www.parliament.scot/parliamentarybusiness/Bills/107499.aspx
Respect for Shopworkers Week 2020 takes place on 16-22 November. It is an annual event where shopworkers ask the public to ‘keep their cool’. Part of the campaign will be encouraging shopworkers not to take abuse as part of the job and report incidents to their manager. www.usdaw.org.uk/Campaigns/Freedom-From-Fear/Campaign-Materials
For Usdaw press releases visit: http://www.usdaw.org.uk/news and you can follow us on Twitter @UsdawUnion

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