Coronavirus: Usdaw urges shoppers to help keep stores safe

Paddy Lillis

Shopworkers trade union leader Paddy Lillis (pictured) has called on the public to take special care to follow guidance on social distancing when making essential shopping trips.

The Usdaw General Secretary said: “Shopworkers and their colleagues in the retail food supply chain are on the frontline of feeding the country during the current crisis. They are providing an essential service in very difficult circumstances, working long hours in busy stores, facing abuse from customers and of course concerned they may contract Covid-19.

“The safety of our members is absolutely paramount, but they tell us that some of the shopping public are resisting social distancing measures in stores and can become abusive when asked to queue and maintain a two-metre gap. Our message to the public is there is no excuse for abusing shopworkers, please treat our members with the respect they deserve.

“Shops are the cornerstone of our communities, but they can only operate with staff, who clearly do not have the option to work from home. We continue to work with retailers to improve health and safety for staff, particularly those dealing directly with the public. We also call on customers to stay calm, respect shopworkers and practise the necessary hygiene measures to help limit the spread of the virus. We all have to work together to get through this crisis.”