LETTER: Respect shop workers during festive season

I would like to wish your readers a 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 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 Usdaw survey showed that every minute of the working day another shopworker is verbally abused, threatened with violence or physically attacked. 
Shopworkers tell us 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.

Talking to our members who work in retail, I know verbal abuse cuts deep. 
Many will go home after a shift upset about an unpleasant incident which 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.

John Hannett

General Secretary

Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers (Usdaw).

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