Union hands out ‘red card’ to abusive shoppers

95% of retail staff have been verbally abused at work

The majority of shopworkers have been verbally abused by irate customers and half a million workers suffer verbal abuse every day, a trade union has said.

Research conducted Usdaw, the shop workers union, shows that 95% of retail staff have been verbally abused at work.

Usdaw says that instances of swearing, sexist comments, homophobic abuse and racist taunts from out of control shoppers are rising sharply.

The union are demanding better treatment for staff and want the public to know that hurling abuse is a form of intimidation.

In order to heighten awareness of the problem they will be handing out red cards to shoppers in the hope that they can ‘send off’ abuse on national Respect for Shopworkers Day.

John Hannett, Usdaw general secretary, said: “Most shoppers would never think of physically assaulting a shopworker, but many seem to think it is alright to scream the most disgusting abuse into the faces of retail workers.

“Last year verbal abuse of shop staff shot up by an alarming 35% so our members are saying enough is enough and they will no longer tolerate vile abuse as part of their daily working lives.

“Football referees can use a red card to send off players who verbally abuse them so our members will be distributing the Usdaw red card spreading the message that anyone abusing staff can be removed from stores or even prosecuted.”

© Crimson Business Ltd 2006


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