Usdaw urges customers to ‘keep your cool’ amid rising incidents of violence against shopworkers in Scotland


RETAIL trade union Usdaw is calling on customers to ‘keep your cool’ as the busy pre-Christmas shopping season unfolds, emphasising the alarming incidents of violence, threats, and abuse faced by shopworkers. The union’s annual survey reveals concerning statistics, with interim results from over 3,000 retail staff responses indicating that 65% experienced verbal abuse, 42% faced threats from customers, and 5% were subjected to physical assault in the last twelve months. The survey highlights the need for heightened awareness and respect toward shopworkers during the festive season.

The shocking statistics from the annual survey are indicative of the challenges faced by shopworkers, prompting Usdaw to initiate the ‘keep your cool’ campaign. The upcoming ‘Super Saturday’ on December 23, the last full shopping day before Christmas, is anticipated to witness heightened footfall, making it crucial for customers to be mindful of their behaviour.

Shopworkers in various regions of Scotland shared harrowing experiences in the survey, recounting incidents of verbal abuse, physical assault, and threats. The testimonies underscore the need for increased awareness and respect toward those working in the retail sector, especially during the holiday rush.

Paddy Lillis, Usdaw General Secretary, expressed concern over the scale of violence, threats, and abuse faced by retail staff, emphasising that incidents of verbal abuse tend to worsen in the run-up to Christmas. Lillis urged customers to ‘keep your cool’ and show respect to shopworkers, contributing to a better Christmas shopping experience for everyone.

As the festive season intensifies, Usdaw’s campaign aims to address the heightened stress and frustration among customers, creating a safer and more respectful shopping environment for both retail staff and shoppers.

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