21st Jan, 2021

Petition launched to protect shop workers as three quarters say abuse and violence have increased during the Covid lockdown

SHOCKING statistics have been released about shopkeepers across the region being threatened with violence and abuse.

They have been released by retail trade union Usdaw and coincides with Shopworkers Week which began on Monday and runs until Sunday.

More than 2,000 retail staff in the West Midlands were quizzed with 85 per cent saying they had experienced verbal abuse.

Of those questioned, 76 per cent said the abuse had been worse during the Covid-19 pandemic – 57 per cent were threatened by a customer and nine per cent were assaulted.

One in Birmingham was kicked by a customer because they were in the way while a customer services adviser was threatened and subjected to verbal and racial abuse.

In Herefordshire and Worcestershire staff reported being coughed and sworn at, racially abused and sexual harassment.

One added: “I have had threats of violence when I finish work, saying they’ll slash my face.”

Usdaw is now calling on the Government for legislation to protect shopworkers and has launched a petition to back up its plea.

It currently has more 75,000 signatures.

Click here for the petition.

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