Respect for Shopworkers day today
Shopworkers' union Usdaw has chosen today, which is national Respect for Shopworkers Day, to kick-start its campaign against the verbal abuse of retail staff. Thirty backbench MPs will join union members in a parliamentary launch of the campaign.

Street stalls will also be set up around the country, where shop workers who have suffered verbal abuse will hand out red cards to shoppers with the words 'Usdaw united against abuse against shopworkers'.

Usdaw general secretary John Hannett said: 'Our research has found that at least half a million shopworkers are verbally abused every working day. Most shoppers would never think of physically assaulting a shopworker, but many seem to think it is alright to scream the most disgusting abuse into the faces of retail workers.'

The Scottish Retail Consortium has lent its support to the campaign. Scottish Retail Consortium director Fiona Moriarty said: 'It damages individuals, undermines morale, drives workers away from retailing, and it threatens the future of the thriving shops strong local communities need. The impact of violence on public sector workers in health and transport has, rightly, been on the Government's recent agenda, but the impact on shop workers is just as important.'

A survey by Usdaw found that verbal abuse against retail staff rose by 35 per cent last year, with 95 per cent of shop workers having been verbally abused at work.