Grangemouth Labour MP, Michael Connarty MP joined shopworkers at Westminster to call on customers to “keep your cool at Christmas” in support of the campaign by retail trade union Usdaw to cut down on the abuse and assaults suffered by shop staff during the Christmas shopping period.
Michael said: “I am shocked that the most recent survey shows that two thirds of shop staff have been abused in the last year and nearly 10% have suffered physical assault. A major cause is angry customers with reports of ‘trolley rage’ incidents on the increase. The shop staff that I met told me that Christmas is the time when they suffer most anger and abuse.
Christmas shopping can be exciting but stressful. I urge all customers not to take out their frustration on shop staff who have to work hard, often for long hours at this time when shops are at their busiest. I was touched by the testimony of shopworkers who say that verbal abuse from customers is very hurtful and can leave staff upset and depressed.
Michael added, “both verbal abuse and threats are anti-social behaviour and I am encouraging retailers and police in Linlithgow and East Falkirk to work together to protect shop staff.”
John Hannett, Usdaw General Secretary said, “Shopworkers in Linlithgow and East Falkirk are delighted to have the support of Michael Connarty MP for our campaign. Too many customers seem to forget that shop staff have feelings too, and treat them without any respect.
“Christmas can be a very stressful time, but we are calling on all customers to think twice before they abuse staff. By staying calm they will help retailers to give them a better service. Hopefully, with the high profile support of Michael, shoppers and staff in Linlithgow and East Falkirk can all enjoy Christmas shopping.”