Llanelli MP backs “Freedom from Fear” shopworkers campaign on visit to Tesco Store, Trostre

Local MP Dame Nia Griffith has shown her support for local shopworkers who face abuse, violence and threats from the public by helping raise awareness of the USDAW trade union’s “Freedom from Fear” campaign at the Tesco store in Trostre, Llanelli.

As part of the Respect for Shopworkers initiative, Dame Nia spent a morning at a campaign stall in the store speaking with staff and members of the public about the unacceptable behaviour that many staff are often on the receiving end of and the steps that can be taken to reduce and eliminate the problem.

Results of USDAW’s most recent Freedom From Fear Survey show that three-quarters of shopworkers experienced verbal abuse, half were threatened by a customer and 8% were assaulted. Nearly a third (30%) are considering changing their job and over four-in-ten (41%) feel anxious about work, all because of high levels of abuse, threats and violence.

Speaking after the event, the Llanelli MP said:

“Shopworkers are often on the frontline with the public and work hard to provide us with the best experience that they can when we go into shops and supermarkets. The fact that they come up against outrageous behaviour including threats, abuse and violence is utterly deplorable and has to stop.

They deserve our heartfelt thanks and I was pleased to be able to join with staff at the store and with USDAW representatives to support their campaign.

We need to send a clear message that this sort of behaviour towards people doing their job is intolerable, give shopworkers confidence to speak out and report abuse as well as work with employers and others to improve safety and security arrangements, increase visibility of local police and take a zero-tolerance approach to retail crime and anti-social behaviour throughout our town.”

“I back workers and USDAW in their fight to defeat this and will continue to support calls for the current Tory Government to adopt new legislation that would make assault on frontline, public facing workers a specific criminal offence.”

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