Mandate Trade Union launched our membership led Respect Retail Workers campaign ten Christmases ago. Once again, we wish to make a renewed appeal to all retail customers to remember to treat workers, at what is the busiest time of the retail year, with courtesy and respect over Christmas 2019.
In our most recent online survey we asked Retail workers to provide us with any instances, and more specifically their own personal experiences, in the retail trade of customers verbally abusing them. Mandate received 628 responses from members outlining a variety of verbal abuse ranging from targeted profanity to horrific instances of aggressive and threatening behaviour.
The union is now calling on all Christmas shoppers to please be mindful of the pressures retail workers are under and to think twice before verbally abusing staff members.
Mandate’s National Coordinator of Campaigns, Brian Forbes said, “The Christmas period is a very stressful time for all concerned, particularly in the current economic and social environment. Many people are struggling to survive on lower incomes while trying to provide their loved ones with Christmas presents, and this can prove difficult at times. However, it is important that consumers recognise that retail workers are experiencing their own pressures too and consumers should continue to afford them the dignity and respect they deserve while they are in their place of work.”
Mr Forbes stated that a majority of reported incidents of abuse towards shop workers are based around issues which are completely outside of their control such as company policies on returning items, continuing Mr Forbes said, “There is simply no excuse for abusive behaviour towards retail workers and it is incumbent upon us all to do more to challenge employers and Irish legislators to ensure an environment in Irish retail where abusive behaviour, violence and the threat of violence against retail workers will not be tolerated under any circumstance.”
The vast majority of customers behave in a courteous and respectful manner towards retail workers and to each and every one of you Mandate wishes to extend our sincere seasonal greetings and hope that you all have a wonderful Christmas and a fabulous New Year.