YP letters: Shop workers deserve a happy Christmas too

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

Photo: Rui Vieria/PA Wire
Photo: Rui Vieria/PA Wire

FOR many this is always an exciting time, but in the last few shopping days 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 showed that every minute of the working day a shopworker is verbally abused, threatened with violence or physically attacked. Shopworkers report that incidents are more frequent throughout Christmas and New Year when shops are busier, customers can be stressed and 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 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 everyone can have a happier Christmas.