We use cookies to ensure that we can give you the best user experience. By continuing to use our website you are consenting to their use. Find out more.

What language do you need?

North West TUC 2023: Usdaw calls for protection of retail workers from abuse, threats and violence

Date: 24 March 2023 Retail trade union Usdaw has a delegation attending the North West Trades Union Congress (TUC) starting on Saturday 25 March in Warrington. The union is calling for action to protect shopworkers from violence, threats and abuse.
Paddy Lillis – Usdaw General Secretary says: “We are deeply concerned by the alarming level of abuse faced by retail workers on a daily basis. Research by Usdaw has found that three-quarters of retail workers are suffering abuse from customers. These experiences are having a severe impact on mental health, with over 40% stating that the issue has caused them anxiety about work and nearly a third are considering quitting their job.
“While the number of instances of abuse faced by retail workers has reduced following the removal of Covid measures, data shows they have not fallen back to pre-pandemic levels. Women, young and Black workers are disproportionately impacted and often on the receiving end of the worst types of abuse.
“Crimes against business remain the main trigger for violence, threats and abuse against shopworkers.  There needs to be urgent action to tackle retail crime through raising awareness among the shopping public and ensuring local police forces have proactive strategies in place to deal with the issue.”
Usdaw is calling on the North West TUC to:
  • Support Usdaw’s Freedom From Fear Campaign; highlighting the issues faced by those in retail and encouraging retail workers to report all incidents of abuse.
  • Engage with Police and Crime Commissioners to develop effective strategies to tackle retail crime.
  • Make the case to employers to protect retail workers and enforce zero tolerance policies in stores.
  • As part of a new deal for workers, campaign to makes stores safer and give staff the support and confidence they need to report abuse. 
Notes for editors:
Usdaw (Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers) is the UK's fifth biggest trade union with over 350,000 members. Most Usdaw members work in the retail sector, but the union also has many members in transport, distribution, food manufacturing, chemical industry and other trades www.usdaw.org.uk
Final results of the Usdaw 2022 survey, based on 7,752 responses, show that (last year’s results in brackets): 74.26% (89%) were verbally abused, 49.25% (63%) were threatened. 7.92% (12%) had been assaulted. 40.88% said violence, threats and abuse caused them anxiety at work and 29.97% are now considering changing job.
Comparison 2019 2020 2021 2022
Abuse 68% 88% 89% 74%
Threats 43% 61% 63% 49%
Violence 5% 9% 12% 8%
The full report can be found at: www.usdaw.org.uk/FFFReport2022
Usdaw’s Freedom from Fear Campaign seeks to prevent violence, threats and abuse against workers by engaging the public, shopworkers and the Government. www.usdaw.org.uk/Campaigns/Freedom-From-Fear
For Usdaw press releases visit: www.usdaw.org.uk/news and you can follow us on Twitter @UsdawUnion

Share this page

Free prize draw

Enter our free prize draw to win a £100 Love2Shop Gift Voucher courtesy of Usdaw Protect.

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