Each November the trade union Usdaw marks Respect for Shopworkers Week, to highlight and prevent violence, threats and abuse directed at retail staff.

Too often retail employees are confronted with abuse while at work and it is important that we stand together and ask our community to respect shopworkers.

The Christmas shopping period is approaching and the stores will get busier and tensions will sometimes build. I was personally shocked by the scenes of violence that we saw last year during the chaos of Black Friday and I do not want to see anything like that again this year.

The sad reality is that this doesn’t just happen on one day, over three hundred shopworkers are assaulted every day and incidents of violence at work have increased in the last 12 months.

I will continue to campaign with Usdaw to provide shopworkers with the support that they need and deserve. We must give a clear message to everyone that abusing or assaulting workers who are serving the public is totally unacceptable. Everyone should be able to go about their work free from fear.

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