Shopworkers’ trade union has launched a petition to protect retail staff from violence and abuse

In response to continued growing assaults, threats and abuse against shopworkers and the doubling of such incidents during the coronavirus emergency, Usdaw has launched a House of Commons petition calling on the Government to legislate to protect shopworkers.

The petition can be signed until 24th Jan 2021 at:  


If 100,000 signatures needed to provoke a Parliamentary debate, (67,000 signed so far by start October).


Usdaw’s surveys of shopworkers found that on average UK shopworkers were verbally abused, threatened or assaulted every fortnight in 2019, but that average doubled to every week during the Coronavirus emergency.

The survey of 2,232 shopworkers was conducted online and asked the question: ‘What were the main triggers for abuse during the Coronavirus emergency?’ They were able to identify more than one issue and responded:

Enforcing social distancing 68% Queueing to get in store 50% Lack of stock 46% Face Coverings 42% Limiting sales 41% Shoplifting 25% Age restricted sales 17%




Protect Retail Workers from Abuse, Threats and Violence: 

Enact legislation to protect retail workers. This legislation must create a specific offence of abusing, threatening or assaulting a retail worker. The offence must carry a penalty that acts as a deterrent and makes clear that abuse of retail workers is unacceptable. Throughout the Coronavirus outbreak, retail workers have been spat at, threatened with infection of Coronavirus and physically assaulted. Since the start of the outbreak, the average retail worker has been assaulted, threatened or abused every 6.5 days, more than double the rate of incidents compared to 2019. Key workers across retail have been undervalued for too long. We need to recognise the valuable contribution of these workers and ensure they are safe whilst undertaking essential work.