MSP shows backing for campaign
Rutherglen and Cambuslang MSP James Kelly teamed up with staff at Tesco to help promote the Freedom from Fear campaign.
The aim is to prevent violence, threats and abuse being directed at retail staff.
Mr Kelly joined Usdaw reps, Angela Morgan and James Allan-Sinclair, at the Rutherglen store to hear more about the campaign.
It is hoped a new law could be created, making it an offence to assault people whose work brings them into face to face contact with the public.
For those found guilty, in addition to existing offences, it could mean up to 12 months in jail and a £10,000 fine.
People can support the ‘Freedom from Fear’ campaign at www.usdaw. org.uk
This issue was raised by Mr Kelly on the floor of the Scottish Parliament during a debate which called for greater protection for shop workers from both the UK and Scottish Governments.
He said: “Too often retail employees are confronted with violence and verbal abuse and it really is important we stand together and ask people to respect workers, especially as we approach the busy festive period.
“I strongly support Usdaw’s call for the Scottish Government to introduce a new law protecting shop workers and other public-facing workers from assault.
“I will continue to campaign with Usdaw to provide shop workers with the support they deserve.
“We must give a clear message that abusing or assaulting workers who are serving the public is totally unacceptable.”
John Hannett, General Secretary of Usdaw, added: “We are grateful to James Kelly for supporting our campaign to keep our members safe at work.
“Often, in the course of their duties, shop workers are expected to enforce the law, whether that is preventing under age purchases of products like knives, tobacco or alcohol, or detaining shoplifters until the police arrive, they deserve respect and protection.
“Over 300 shop workers are assaulted every day and it’s time to say enough.
Stamp it out James Kelly MSP with Tesco Rutherglen staff Angela Morgan and James Allan-Sinclair promoting the Freedom from Fear campaign