SHOPPERS have been urged to have respect for retail staff as the frantic rush for Christmas gifts approaches.
Last week Pontefract and Castleford Yvette Cooper MP stood up for retail staff by backing a national initiative called Respect for Shopworkers Week.
It is part of the Usdaw retail union’s campaign Freedom From Fear, which seeks to prevent violence, threats and abuse being made against shopworkers.
Staff at The Co-operative Food have been working to promote the campaign, saying that anti-social behaviour has a “devastating” impact.
They say it’s particularly important to spread the message about respect in the run up to Christmas, when stores are busier.
Ms Cooper visited staff at the Carlton Street branch, in Castleford, last week to show her support for the campaign.
She said said: “It was a concern to hear from shop workers that anti-social behaviour can be a real hassle in the workplace.
“Everyone should be able to come to work and feel safe, that’s why I’m backing this campaign to ask people to think again about anti-social behaviour towards people who are there to help.
“It also shows why it is so important to keep neighbourhood police in every area and every town centre instead of the government’s plans for 20 per cent cuts.”
John Briddon, The Co-operative Food’s regional stores director for the north, said: “Our stores provide an essential service that many people depend upon, especially in the run up to Christmas, and the anti-social behaviour of a few can have a devastating impact.
“Retail crime is not a victimless crime, far from it, and we are proud to once again be working with Usdaw in support of this important initiative.”