Today, I attended an Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers (USDAW) event in Parliament to promote this years ‘Freedom from Fear’ campaign.
USDAW is the UK’s fourth largest union in the country representing 435,000 members nationwide. They represent members in:
• All major retailers
• Road transport
• Warehouses and distribution
• Food manufacturing
• Home shopping
• Plus a range of other industries.
The ‘Freedom from Fear’ campaign seeks to make the working environment safer for workers by tackling violence and abuse from members of the public. The campaigns core message is ‘abuse is not part of the job’. This means that everyone has the right to go to work, carry out their job, and come home without having to face violence, threats or abuse whilst doing so.
This year the annual Respect for Shopworkers Week is taking place between 14-20 November. As part of this campaign week, their retail activists across the country will be holding events in stores to highlight the abuse of staff can receive and to campaign for respect, especially during the busy Christmas trading period.
No shopworker should face abuse at work. The campaign being run by USDAW is a perfect way of raising people’s awareness that no one should have to face threats of violence – be it verbal or physical – whilst doing their job.
With Christmas fast approaching shopworkers will be facing their busiest period. This brings with it shoppers who will be rushing around getting ready for the festive season. But we must be loud and clear in saying it is not right for people to take their anger out on staff in stores.
I hope as many people as possible will support USDAWs campaign and bear in mind next time they go shopping that abuse is not part of the job for shopworkers.
*From left to right in the photo is: General Secretary of USDAW, John Hannett, David Hanson MP for Delyn, and Deputy General Secretary of USDAW, Paddy Lillis.