Shopworkers are people, too

Christmas shoppers in Preston
Christmas shoppers in Preston

I would like to wish your readers a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year.

For many this is always an exciting time, but we know it can be frantic trying to get everything ready for the big day.

I want to gently remind readers to remember shopworkers are people as well. They will be working really hard to make your shopping experience as stress-free and enjoyable as possible.

A recent survey showed t every minute of the working day a shopworker is verbally abused, threatened with violence or physically attacked. Shopworkers report 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.

We saw examples of this during Black Friday events.

Talking to members who work in retail, I know 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 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 shopworkers are working extra hard at this time and treating them with respect will mean everyone can have a happier Christmas.

With season’s greetings.

John Hannett

General Secretary

Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers (Usdaw)