- Posted by: Mike Hedges MS
- Categories: Latest News, Press Releases
Swansea East AM Mike Hedges has thrown his support behind USDAW’s annual “Respect for Shopworkers” campaign, which aims this year to gather support for a new Bill to give shopworkers legal protection against violence and abuse.
The Protection of Workers Bill was introduced into the Westminster Parliament last week by Labour MP Graeme Morrice and is scheduled to get a second reading on 1st February next year. The Bill aims to reduce incidents of violence, threats and abuse against all workers whose jobs bring them into face-to-face contact with members of the public. The Bill will create a new offence relating to assaults on public facing workers, one that will carry a maximum sentence of 12 months and a £10,000 fine.
Speaking at the launch of the campaign, Mike Hedges said:
“It’s wrong that shopworkers face abuse and violence while doing their utmost to serve the public. This campaign, which I’m delighted to support, will highlight to shoppers the problems shopworkers can face, particularly in the run up to Christmas, when customers are stressed, stores are really busy and sometimes tempers get frayed. It’s important what we all ‘Keep our cool at Christmas’ and show shopworkers the respect they deserve.”
Usdaw Divisional Officer Nick Ireland said:
“Respect for Shopworkers Week is a great opportunity for retail staff to highlight to both colleagues and customers that abuse, threats and violence against people trying to do their job is totally unacceptable and should never be tolerated.
“Despite our ‘Freedom From Fear’ campaign helping to raise awareness of the problem and reducing the number of incidents, it’s a sad fact that every minute of every day a shopworker somewhere is assaulted, threatened or abused. That’s why our members now think it’s time to give shopworkers extra legal protection. We hope AMs will support them by backing the Protection of Workers Bill.”