Monday, 8 November 2010
Why I'm backing shopworkers call for respect
The survey shows that in the past 12 months, 6% of shopworkers were subjected to violent attack, 37% were threatened with harm and a massive 70% had suffered verbal abuse.
While reported incidents of assault are slightly down, incidents of threats and abuse have increased since last year.
Also revealed in the survey is that around 50% of incidents of abuse were as a result of selling age-restricted products, like alcohol, cigarettes, aerosols, etc.
Shopworkers deserve respect and they have my full support. We must do more to help them do their job safely.
I would like to see a high profile publicity campaign in support of ‘no id – no sale’ ensuring that young people are aware that it is an offence to attempt to buy alcohol if you are under 18.
That is why I introduced an early Day Motion to parliament to show my support and help make the voices of shopworkers heard.
I am challenging the Government not to declare shops as automatically safe workplaces, as has been suggested by Lord Young. They need health and safety inspections from time to time to ensure that risks are minimised. The Government must continue to support the HSE and local authorities to inspect all workplaces.
The Early Day Motion I introduced reads as follows:
EDM 791 – Freedom from Fear 2010
‘That this House recognises the excellent work done by employers, trade union health & safety reps and inspectors from the HSE and local authorities to make workplaces safer; notes with regret the latest survey of abuse of shopworkers by the Union of Shop Distributive and Allied Workers that shows that in the last year 6% of shopworkers were subjected to violent attack, 37% were threatened with harm and 70% were verbally abused: expresses sympathy with all of the victims of attack or injury in the workplace; is concerned that the survey also showed that 50% of the abuse suffered by shopworkers was related to age-restricted sales and dealing with proof of age; acknowledges that no workplace can automatically be assumed to be safe and that therefore all workplaces need health and safety inspections from time to time to ensure that risks are minimised; calls on the Government to continue to support the HSE and local authorities to inspect all workplaces; to maintain the current record numbers of police and Community Support Officers to continue to protect front-line workers and the public from violence, threats and abuse, and to run high profile publicity campaigns in support of ‘no id – no sale’ and ensuring that young people are aware that it is an offence to attempt to buy alcohol if you are under 18’.