From: John Hannett, General Secretary, Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers (Usdaw).
I WOULD like to wish your readers a very merry Christmas. We know it can be frantic trying to get everything ready for the big day. I want to gently remind your readers to remember that shopworkers are people as well. They will be working hard to make your shopping experience as stress-free as possible.
A recent survey showed that in every minute of the working day another shopworker is verbally abused, threatened with violence or physically attacked.
Such incidents are more frequent throughout the Christmas and New Year period when shops are busier, customers can be stressed and are more likely to take out their frustration on staff.
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, the shopworkers’ union, 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 at this time and treating them with respect will mean that everyone can have a happier Christmas.