The Medway Labour and Co-operative Group are supporting Respect for Shopworkers Week. Organised by the Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers (USDAW), this awareness week was created in order to publicise the levels of abuse that retail staff are currently receiving.

USDAW are also campaigning for the British government to act now and introduce legislation that will increase shopworkers protection from abuse.

Cllr Chrissy Stamp, representative for Watling, said:

“Research has shown that 9 out of 10 shopworkers have received verbal abuse in their careers, and that 11% have been physically assaulted at the workplace. This is completely unacceptable.

“Shopworkers in places like Watling Street and other areas provide a vital service for the residents in my ward, and I’ll be using this awareness week to thank Medway’s shop staff for their work and to call for greater levels of respect towards them.”

Cllr Vince Maple, Leader of the Medway Labour and Co-operative Group, added:

“I’m glad to support Respect for Shopworkers week. During the pandemic retail workers were one of the key sectors that kept working so that our country still functioned. As a consequence of their service to society, they had a much higher risk of suffering with Coronavirus.

“Medway Labour thank them for their work, and will always do our best to support them, whether that’s through campaigns like this which try to raise awareness about the levels of abuse they receive, or by fighting for legislation to improve their working conditions.”

Paddy Lillis, General Secretary of USDAW, said:

“The new protection of workers law in Scotland is welcome and we urge the UK Government to extend it to England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Retail staff across the UK have a crucial role in our communities and that role must be valued and respected, they deserve the protection of the law.

“This is a hugely important issue for our members and they are saying loud and clear that enough is enough. The alarm bells are ringing and it is time for the Government to make a difference.”

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