THE run-up to Christmas is always a really busy time for retail workers, shoppers can be stressed and things can boil over. This year is likely to be even more stressful as a result of recent lockdowns and worries around Coronavirus.

I want to gently remind your readers to remember that shopworkers are people as well.

They will be working really hard to make your shopping experience as enjoyable as possible.

Talking to our members who work in retail, I know that verbal abuse cuts deep. Many will go home after a shift upset about an unpleasant incident that took place at work that day and worried that it will happen to them again.

During this appalling pandemic we have been shocked to find that incidents of violence, threats and abuse against shopworkers have doubled. The main flashpoints are enforcing Covid rules, queueing and shortage of stock. None of these are the fault of shopworkers, but too often they end up on the wrong side of customers’ frustrations.

That is why Usdaw, the shopworkers’ trade union, is asking customers to ‘Keep your Cool’ at Christmas.

I would also like to ask your readers to support our members by signing the petition to protect shopworkers at:

With seasons greetings.


General Secretary,

Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers (Usdaw)