Union plea to public not to take frustrations out on ‘hard working shop workers’ over non essential item ban
A union has called on the public to treat shop workers with respect and not take out frustrations on them over the ban on “non essential” item sales.
Usdaw – which represent workers in the retail industry – said it welcomed the Welsh Government’s revised guidance on what is and isn’t classed as an “essential item.”
The union said the new guidance provides “greater clarity on the steps retailers can take to implement the rules, the types of products that can be sold and how retailers should manage exceptional requests for items not included on the list.”
The Welsh Government, business representative groups, Trade Unions and essential retailers have been working closely together over recent days on the implementation of regulations introduced to minimise the sale of non-essential items during the 17 day firebreak lockdown.
First minister Mark Drakeford said the ban on the sale of non essential items in supermarkets was to create a “level the playing field with small and high street stores and minimise the amount of time that people spend out of their homes during this two week period.”
But the Welsh government said it does not currently ”share a common vision” with retailers for how best the ban should be implemented.
A government spokesperson said: “We are all agreed on the need for a system that protects retail staff, is easy for customers and staff to understand and adhere to, and helps to reduce the amount of time people spend in store during the firebreak.”
Usdaw divisional officer Nick Ireland said: “We are absolutely clear that it is not the responsibility of shop workers to enforce these revised arrangements and it is the responsibility of the public to follow the rules.”
“I urge shoppers not to take their frustrations out on hard working shop workers who have been working throughout this pandemic to ensure the nation’s food and medicine supply is uninterrupted. Please treat shop workers with the respect they deserve.”
“I ask all customers to wear a face covering, keep following all social distancing measures, shop alone if possible, only buy essential items and pay by card if you can.
“By staying at home, restricting journeys and avoiding non-essential in store shopping we can all help to stop the spread of the virus.”
The Welsh Government spokesperson added: “We recognise the hard work of retail staff across Wales and the need to ensure their safety throughout this pandemic.”
“Both the Welsh Government and retailers would remind people to always be courteous and polite to the retail staff that are there to help them.”
“For the duration of the firebreak we are calling on shoppers in Wales to think about whether they can delay purchasing something in store if it is not on the list of items that can be sold.”
“Shoppers can of course make use of online services offered by the larger supermarkets and other high street and online retailers during this time. ”
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