The Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers (Usdaw), retailers, and trade bodies are standing together, calling on the prime minister to accept that legislation is needed to protect the UK’s three million retail workers.
The news follows the government’s recent rejection of the calls with it being urged to change its mind by accepting an amendment to its Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill, which would deliver greater protection for all frontline shopworkers.
A petition launched by Usdaw general secretary, Paddy Lillis, which attracted 104,000 signatures and is backed by major retailers, was debated this month by MPs and received strong support from all sides of the House of Commons.
Lillis said: “Despite overwhelming evidence the government continues to refuse to support a specific law to protect shopworkers, which is backed by many retailers. So we are pleased that a protection of shopworkers amendment to the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill has been tabled and we hope it will be supported by MPs in the bill committee.
“Usdaw is looking for a simple stand-alone offence that is easily understood, not just by the legal profession, but by the criminals who are assaulting, threatening and terrifying shopworkers.”
He added: “When retail employers, leading retail bodies and the shopworkers’ trade union jointly call for legislation, it is time for the government and MPs to listen.”