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Government objects to a new law to protect shop workers from assault - Usdaw urges them to listen to staff and retailers

Date: 25 September 2020 Retail trade union Usdaw is deeply disappointed by today’s Government objection to a Bill to protect shop workers from violent attacks, which is also supported by retail employers and their representative bodies.
The Assaults on Retail Workers (Offences) Bill, promoted by Alex Norris MP (Labour/Co-op, Nottingham North) was timetabled for its second reading in the House of Commons today, but the Government objected to it progressing and is now delayed until Friday 30 October.
 
This week 23 major British retailers and the sector’s leading industry bodies wrote to the Prime Minister asking him to provide effective legal protection for shop workers in the face of increasing levels of abuse and violence and in support of Alex Norris’ Private Members Bill.
 
Shop workers’ trade union leader Paddy Lillis launched a parliamentary petition to legislate to protect shopworkers, which now has over 60,000 signatures. 

The petition can be signed at: https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/328621
 
Paddy Lillis- Usdaw General Secretary says: “We were deeply disappointed by the Government’s response to our petition, offering little more than sympathy. It adds insult to injury that they today objected to the Bill promoted by Alex Norris MP. We thank Alex for his continued support and perseverance on this issue
 
“I urge the Government to listen to the voices of shopworkers and retailers by legislating for stiffer penalties for those who assault workers. If they want to turn their words of sympathy into action, they should support the Bill and help it onto the statute book.
 
“When retailers and the trade union for shop workers jointly call for action, it is time for the Government to listen to our concerns and deliver much needed protection for staff. Abuse must never be just a part of the job.”
 
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

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