By Jo Whitfield, Chief Executive, Food

Investment, new technology and campaigning are just three ways we’ve been working to protect our colleagues. However, incidents of shocking abuse still occur daily in many industries including our own.

We’re joining forces with Channel 4, Nationwide and Network Rail to highlight the abuse many of us face every day in a thought-provoking ad-break takeover – Together Against Hate.

The campaign features Maruf Choudhury from Chalfont St Giles, who talks about the amazing things we do at the Co-op and how proud he is to work here. But throughout the clip, he’s overlaid with CCTV footage and real news clippings of verbal and physical abuse suffered by employees.

The ad break will air during the new series of Gogglebox on Friday 16 October 2020 at 9:15pm. It’s difficult to watch, but the campaign highlights the importance that abuse of any kind should never be tolerated. Sadly, 43% of shop workers say they’ve been threatened with physical violence. Customer facing staff experience over 400 abuse incidents every day.

I’m pleased to be taking a stand alongside other businesses in the travel and financial services sectors. We urgently need a reset in society to help protect people who are simply going to work each and every day. Our customer facing key workers form a vital part of everyday British life and have worked tirelessly over the past seven months to keep the nation going.

We’ll continue to push Government to provide greater legal protection for shopworkers, while actively supporting the Alex Norris MP’s – ‘Assaults on Retail Workers’ bill, which is due to get its second reading later this month.

I hope you’ll join me tonight to watch the campaign, and please get involved on social media using the #TogetherAgainstHate. I’ll be on Twitter tonight sharing my thoughts (@JoWhitfield_). You can also help us spread the word about this important campaign through Social Hub.