Shopworkers’ trade union Usdaw is joining with the British Retail Consortium (BRC) in calling for Government action to stem a growing tide of violence and abuse against shopworkers. The BRC Annual Retail Crime Survey released today shows that violence and abuse against shopworkers continues to increase with 424 incidents per day during 2019.

Paddy Lillis – Usdaw General Secretary says: 
“Usdaw’s research has shown that over 400* shopworkers are assaulted every day and today we see that the BRC survey findings are similar. When retail employers and the shopworkers’ trade union jointly call for action to stem this growing epidemic of violence against shop staff, it’s time for Ministers to sit up and take notice.

“All too often criminals feel they can get away with assaulting shop staff and are not punished. That’s why we need Government action to help protect staff through the creation of a simple stand-alone offence that is widely recognised and understood by the public, police, the judiciary and most importantly criminals.”

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.

* Usdaw’s 2019 annual survey of 6,457 UK shopworkers found that 5.05% had been assaulted over the last 12 months. When extrapolated over circa 3,000,000 retail workers, this amounts to over 400 assaults per day. Usdaw believes this is an underestimation because the survey analysis assumes each respondent was only assaulted once last year and it was conducted in mainly larger trade union organised stores, which tend to be safer than smaller non-unionised workplaces.

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