YP Letters: Respect our shopworkers at busy time of year

From: Paddy Lillis, General Secretary, Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers (Usdaw).

Christmas shoppers are being urged to heed Usdaw's respect campaign.

FOR many this is an exciting time, but we know it can be frantic trying to get everything ready for Christmas. I want to gently remind your readers to remember that shopworkers are people as well. They will be working really hard to make your shopping experience as stress-free and enjoyable as possible.

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A recent survey shows that every minute of every day, another shopworker is verbally abused, threatened with violence or physically attacked. Shopworkers tell us that incidents are more frequent throughout the Christmas and New Year period when shops are busier and customers are more likely to take out their frustration on staff.

Talking to our members who work in retail, I know that verbal abuse cuts deep. Many will go home after a shift upset about an unpleasant incident that took place at work that day and worried that it will happen to them again. That is why Usdaw is running a Respect for Shopworkers campaign, asking customers to ‘Keep your Cool at Christmas’. It’s a simple message, but remembering that shopworkers are working extra hard and treating them with respect will mean that everyone can have a happier Christmas.