SHOP workers expressed fears yesterday over the new 5p charge for carrier bags, warning that it could anger customers and lead to attacks.
A survey by shop workers’ union Usdaw revealed that more than 56 per cent were abused verbally over the last year, one-third were threatened, and 3.1 per cent were physically assaulted.
And now Usdaw general secretary John Hannett fears that the compulsory 5p charge for carrier bags introduced yesterday could be a new source of friction between customers and the people serving them.
The charge is a government levy aimed at reducing waste.
Mr Hannett said: “Every day shop workers have to enforce a number of laws, like age identification. Sometimes customers can get frustrated with this and take it out on the staff. So the introduction of a new law, like carrier bag charging, can be a flashpoint for verbal abuse, threats or even violence.”
He called on customers to respect shop workers as “they are just doing their job and have to comply with the law.”