Members of shopworkers' union Usdaw will be helping consumers to keep cool in the run-up to Christmas by handing out cards with tips for keeping calm.

The initiative is part of Usdaw's Freedom From Fear campaign to curb physical and verbal violence against retail staff.

According to a recent survey conducted by the union, one in every 10 shopworkers has been physically assaulted in the workplace. Usdaw general secretary John Hannett was shocked at the findings. "It is an outrage that so many of our members can't get on with their daily job without fear of abuse from customers."