Reader Letter: Please respect shopworkers this Christmas

Late night Christmas shopping and lights in Norwich.PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY

Late night Christmas shopping and lights in Norwich.PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY - Credit: Archant Norfolk

I want to gently remind your readers to remember that shopworkers are people as well.

For many this is always an exciting time, but we know it can be frantic trying to get everything ready for the big day.

They will be working really hard to make your shopping experience as stress-free and enjoyable as possible.

A recent Usdaw survey showed that every minute of the working day another shopworker is verbally abused, threatened with violence or physically attacked.

Shopworkers tell us that incidents are more frequent throughout the Christmas and new year period when shops are busier, customers can be stressed and are more likely to take out their frustration on staff.


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Talking to our members who work in retail, I know that verbal abuse cuts deep.

Many will go home after a shift upset about an unpleasant incident that took place at work that day and worried that it will happen to them again.

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That is why Usdaw, the shopworkers' union, is running a Respect for Shopworkers campaign, asking customers to 'Keep your Cool at Christmas'.

It's a simple message, but remembering that shopworkers are working extra hard at this time and treating them with respect will mean that everyone can have a happier Christmas.

With seasons greetings.

John Hannett, General Secretary, Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers (Usdaw)

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