South of Scotland MSP, Colin Smyth has backed a campaign by the Union of Shop, Distribution and Allied Workers (USDAW), which aims to raise awareness of violence against shopworkers.
The ‘Freedom From Fear Campaign’ seeks to make the working environment safer for workers by tackling violence and abuse. The Campaign’s core message that ‘abuse is not part of the job’ means that everyone has the right to go to work, carry out their job, and come home without having to face violence, threats or abuse whilst doing so.
Colin Smyth gave his backing to the campaign last week, during USDAW’s annual Respect for Shopworkers Week 2017, which took place last week 13-20 November. Shopworkers organised events across Scotland including in the Scottish Parliament, ahead of the busy Christmas period, talking to the public about violence, threats and abuse, asking customers to ‘keep their cool’. A part of the campaign encourages shopworkers not to take abuse as just a part of the job and report incidents to their employer.
Colin met up with Dumfries USDAW member Hugh McCreadie as part of the event.
Colin Smyth MSP said, “This is a vitally important campaign and highlights the totalling unacceptable violence and abuse we see against shopworkers, which sadly tends to peak around Christmas time.
Everyone understands this time of year can be stressful but this campaign aims to highlight that staff are there to help, not to be on the receiving end of abuse.
I urge everyone across our area to help support this campaign in whatever way they can, and be considerate to staff when out shopping in the run up to Christmas and all year round.”
USDAW member Hugh McCreadie from Dumfries said, “It’s great to have the support of Colin which helps raise awareness of our campaign. Our message to shopworkers is do not suffer in silence, abuse is not a part of the job and if you do suffer from abuse, report it to your union so we can help to sort it. Retail staff are an important part of our local community and their role must be valued, respected and protected.”
The General Secretary of USDAWS, John Hannett said: “We know from the results of our recent annual survey of shopworkers that there are still far too many workers who are suffering from violence or abuse and who don’t report these incidents. It is incredibly important that as part of this campaign, we work together to encourage people to report any abuse or violence that they experience so that we can push employers to take real action against it.”
To find out more information on the campaign I urge people to visit USDAW’s website: http://www.usdaw.org.uk/freedomfromfear