Welsh Labour and Cooperative MP for Neath, Christina Rees MP, is calling on the UK Government to take decisive action to curb the startling levels of abuse and violence shop workers are exposed to.
In a recent study by the Union of Shop, Distributive, and Allied Workers, Usdaw, a staggering 80 per cent of retail staff said that violence, threats, and abuse against shop workers are getting worse.
Christina recently wrote to the Home Secretary to call for action to be taken on this issue and has stated her disappointment at the department’s response to date. The UK Government has previously consulted on this issue but, 12 months on, ministers are yet to publish the findings of this research or implement any recommendations.
Christina will be supporting Alex Norris MP’s Bill in Parliament on this issue when it returns to the Commons in September.
Christina Rees MP said:
“It’s shameful that although the UK Government has consulted on this issue because they recognise it is a problem, thus far, ministers have completely failed to take action.
“I’m deeply concerned about the apparent rise in abuse and violence shop workers have faced since the coronavirus pandemic began. Shop workers have been working tirelessly to help to ensure we all have the essential items we all need at this unsettling time. They deserve our respect and should not be subjected to abuse, threats, or violence.
“I will be continuing to pursue this issue in Parliament until shop workers get the protections they need and deserve.”
Usdaw is currently calling on the UK Government to implement:
· Tougher sentences for those who attack shop workers.
· Changes to the out of court disposals system (e.g. fixed penalty notices) which is failing to have an impact on re-offending.
· A full review into the response of police forces to incidents of violence in the retail sector.