Trade union Usdaw has called on shopworkers to not accept abuse in the workplace.

Speaking at the launch of Respect for Shopworkers Week (11-15 November), part of the Freedom from Fear campaign, general secretary John Hannett urged shopworkers to come forward if they have been a victim of verbal or physical abuse.

According to a Usdaw survey, 49% of shopworkers said they had been victims of verbal abuse in the past year, while 35% reported being threatened and 4% had suffered violent assaults.

Although the number of violent attacks have decreased slightly compared to the previous year, 4% still amounts to around 120,000 violent attacks against retail staff across the UK.

The Usdaw survey also revealed that one in six victims of a violent attack had not reported it to their manager or the police.

John Hannett said: “We are shocked that so many are suffering in silence and I would urge shopworkers to report all incidents, to give us and the employers the chance to sort the problem. Our message is very clear: Abuse and physical attacks are not part of a shopworkers job.”

GroceryAid has also offered its support for shopworkers who have been the victim of verbal abuse, threatening behavior or violent attacks.

The charity for the grocery industry is encouraging retailers and staff that have experienced an incident that is harmful, threatening or challenging, to contact the GroceryAid Helpline either online at or via freephone 08088 021 122.