Shopworkers' union Usdaw is highlighting the problem of verbal abuse as the main theme for its fourth annual Respect for Shopworkers Day on July 12.
In the run up to the event, the union is asking retailers and staff to let it know how verbal abuse has affected them. A survey has revealed the problem is up 35% on last year across the retail sector. Some 86% of Usdaw reps said they had experienced verbal abuse within their store and more than a third said it was a daily experience.
Usdaw spokesman Paul Clarke said: "This is an even bigger issue in the convenience sector. C-store staff are usually more vulnerable as they often work on their own. With things like underage attempts to buy alcohol, verbal abuse is often the default action of those being refused service.
"We've got to get a strong message across that verbal abuse will not be tolerated and are encouraging retailers to get in touch."
Any retailers wishing to get involved in a regional event to help promote the day can contact Usdaw on 0845 6060640. Details of experiences can be emailed to