- Posted by: Mike Hedges MS
- Categories: Latest News, Press Releases
A Swansea Assembly Member is today calling on all Welsh Members of Parliament to throw their support behind a Parliamentary Bill which aims to give shopworkers legal protection against violence, abuse and threats incurred in the course of their job.
Mike Hedges, Labour AM for Swansea East, has tabled an Assembly Statement of Opinion (SOP) which supports the Protection of Workers Bill that was introduced into the UK Parliament last year by Livingstone MP Graeme Morrice. The Statement of Opinion reads:
- Recognises that every year, a high level of shopworkers in Wales suffer from violence, threats and abuse in the course of their employment;
- Strongly believes that no person whose job brings them into face-to-face contact with the public should be attacked, abused or threated;
- Acknowledges Usdaw’s “Freedom From Fear” campaign in highlighting violence against shopworkers;
- Welcomes the Protection of Worker Bill tabled by Graeme Morrice MP, which creates an additional penalty for those who assault shopworkers in the course of their duties;
- Urges all Welsh MPs to support the Protection of Workers Bill in a future Parliamentary vote.
The Protection of Workers 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 also create a new offence relating to assaults on public facing workers and will carry a maximum sentence of 12 months and a £10,000 fine.
Labour’s Mike Hedges is now calling on Assembly Members from all political parties to sign-up up and support the Statement of Opinion, as well as lobby Welsh MPs to back the Bill in a future vote in the House of Commons.
Speaking from the National Assembly, Mike Hedges AM said:
“It’s a shocking fact that on a daily basis, a shopworker somewhere is assaulted, threatened or abused while trying to do their job. Such actions are totally unacceptable and should not be tolerated.
“The Protection of Workers Bill seeks to combat these abuses by giving shopworkers the adequate legal protection they deserve when in the workplace.
“Although we don’t have the powers to legislation on this matter in the Welsh Assembly, it’s important that we highlight to the public the problems shopworkers still face as well as show our support for those who simply want to go to work and do their jobs free from the fear of violence.
“I encourage AMs from across the political spectrum to sign-up and support this Statement as well as lobby Parliamentary colleagues so that we can get this Bill on the statute books and give shopworkers the legal protection they deserve.”