Usdaw’s survey of shopworkers after the 2014 Black Friday sales revealed a two-thirds increase in incidents of verbal abuse, threats and violence against retail staff
Shopworkers’ trade union leader John Hannett has called for a calm and orderly Black Friday (24 November 2017) as millions of shoppers are set to take advantage of what is now described as the biggest discounting day of the retail year.
Problems with Black Friday started in 2013 and continued in 2014. Usdaw’s survey of shopworkers after the 2014 Black Friday sales revealed a two-thirds increase in incidents of verbal abuse, threats and violence against retail staff. So Usdaw has worked with employers to minimise abuse.
John Hannett – Usdaw General Secretary said: “Our members have had real concerns about Black Friday. After two years of unprecedented scenes of mayhem in some stores, as bargain hunting turned into frenzy, we discussed safety issues with retailers. They responded positively by organising their events to maximise safety and security for staff and customers alike. Consequently the last couple of years have been quieter and more respectful, but we continue to monitor the situation.
“Violence, threats and abuse against shopworkers are already worryingly high, interim figures from this year’s survey suggest there’s been a big jump in incidents. Verbal abuse and assault are up by 25% and threats have increased by 38%. The British Retail Consortium also reported, earlier this year, a 40% increase in abuse of shopworkers.
“Around 265 retail staff are violently attacked every day, with many more threatened and verbally abused, so it is time to say enough is enough. My message to shoppers is clear. Enjoy your bargain hunting, keep your cool and respect shopworkers.”