Claire Saunders, Store Manager and USDAW rep

I’ve been an USDAW rep for just over a year now and suffering violence and abuse at work, and witnessing my team go through the same things is what spurred me on to become a rep.

USDAW has been running its Freedom From Fear ‘Respect Shop Workers’ campaign since 2002. It’s about working with the public, retailers, police and Government to protect retail workers from violence and abuse. 

Despite the Co-op being brilliant at investing in colleague safety and supporting staff, after witnessing the problems in my store, I realised I had to do something. I’ve seen first-hand what abuse and violence can do to people. That’s why I got involved with Respect for Shopworkers week and the Safer Colleagues, Safer Communities campaign – raising awareness and campaigning to make life better for me and my colleagues.

So, in spite of coronavirus affecting how the campaign is normally run, we’re still fighting to get our voice heard this week.

I’ll be joining leaders from the Co-op, local police and other people of interest in one of six regional events taking place across the country. We’ll be talking about the issues we face every day and how we can work together to make a difference for retail workers across the country.

We’ll be having our own conversations in stores to raise awareness and to celebrate all we’ve achieved through the Safer Colleagues, Safer Communities campaign. A big thanks to the customer team who will also be helping us raise awareness in stores through our till screens, radio and posters.

Here’s how you can get involved too:

  • Take a look at Chris’ video and share with your teams what we’ve achieved this year through our Safer Colleagues, Safer Communities campaign
  • Head over to social hub from today to share our key messages on your social media platforms
  • Share your pictures and stories on social media and/or Yammer using #Respect20 #SaferColleaguesSaferCommunities
  • Sign the USDAW petition here. The petition is gaining momentum if we reach 100,000 signatures it will be debated in parliament.

A huge thank you for all your support in raising awareness that violence and abuse is just not part of our jobs!