Co-op urges government intervention after attacks on staff increase

jo whitfield

The Co-op’s food boss has warned that the coronavirus pandemic has seen an increase in violence against staff and called on the government to urgently introduce legislation to protect shopworkers.

Speaking on the one-year anniversary of the government’s call for evidence on violence against shop staff, Co-op food boss Jo Whitfield said the numbers of incidents had hit record levels during the pandemic and called on the government to urgently intervene.

The retailer reported 1,350 attacks against its staff by mid-June and claimed workers had been “spat at and threatened with being ‘given coronavirus’” during the lockdown.

That number of attacks represents a 140% increase on violent incidents this year compared with last.

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