Please respect shopworkers

We all love a Black Friday bargain, but please respect shopworkers says Usdaw

Shopworkers’ trade union leader Paddy Lillis has called for a calm and orderly Black Friday (23 November 2018) as millions of shoppers are set to take advantage of what is now described as the biggest discounting day of the retail year.

Problems with Black Friday started in 2013 and continued in 2014. Usdaw’s survey of shopworkers after the 2014 Black Friday sales revealed a two-thirds increase in incidents of verbal abuse, threats and violence against retail staff. So Usdaw has worked with employers to minimise abuse.

Paddy Lillis – Usdaw General Secretary says: “Our members have had real concerns about Black Friday. After two years of unprecedented scenes of mayhem in some stores, as bargain hunting turned into frenzy, we discussed safety issues with retailers. They responded positively by organising their events to maximise safety and security for staff and customers alike. Consequently recent years have been quieter and more respectful, but we continue to monitor the situation.

“Violence, threats and abuse against shopworkers are already worryingly high, interim figures from this year’s survey suggest there’s been a big jump in incidents. Verbal abuse and threats against shopworkers are up in the last two years and violence has increased by 40% since 2016.

“Over 230 retail staff are violently attacked every day, with many more threatened and verbally abused, so it is time to say enough is enough. My message to shoppers is clear. Enjoy your bargain hunting, keep your cool and respect shopworkers.”

Interim results of the Usdaw’s 2018 survey, based on 3,561 responses, show that in 2018 so far: 59.65% were verbally abused, 36.93% were threatened. 11.36% of shopworkers had been assaulted during their career, with 230 assaults per day during 2018. 58.80% of those who have been attacked or abused have never reported an incident. 16.88% who have been assaulted did not report it. The main reasons not to report incidents are: Won’t make a difference 35.07%; don’t know the procedure 9.18%; procedure too complicated 4.52%. The final results of the survey will be published in the new year.

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