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MPs set to debate Usdaw's protect shopworkers petition

RETAIL union Usdaw has reiterated calls for the government to legislate to protect shopworkers ahead of a Commons debate on worker safety. 

An Usdaw petition calling for greater statutory protection for retail staff will be considered by MPs on June 7.

The petition has been signed by more than 100,000 people and is also backed by major retailers and trade bodies.

A recent British Retail Consortium survey found that violence and abuse against shopworkers increased by 7 per cent in the year to April 2020, with an average of 455 incidents a day.

Usdaw said that the issue has become more serious during the Covid-19 pandemic, with the vast majority of staff who responded to its 2020 safety survey reporting verbal abuse at work and 9 per cent saying that they had suffered physical assault.

General secretary Paddy Lillis said: “Abuse should never be just a part of the job.

“We now urge MPs to persuade the government to back legislation to protect shopworkers.

“Retail employers, leading retail bodies and the shopworkers’ union are jointly calling for legislation, so it is time for the government and MPs to listen.”

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