Co-operating for a fairer world for our colleagues

As part of our Safer Colleagues, Safer Communities campaign we’ve been talking to MPs and Government to ensure they understand why the issue of violence against shop workers must be taken seriously.

A key part of our campaign has been to get greater protection in law for shopworkers.

There’s a new piece of legislation being proposed currently called the Police, Crime and Sentencing Courts Bill. In this bill, it sets out the ‘increase in penalty for assault on emergency worker’. If someone is found guilty of this, the conviction increases from 12 months to 2 years. We want to put forward that this should also include shopworkers.

We now have a window of time where we can influence MPs to support what we’re asking. We’ve had some brilliant success from writing letters to MPs in this campaign and we want to do the same again.

Here's how you can help:

I am a shopworker sending an email

  1. Go to https://members.parliament.uk
  2. Find your MP's email address
  3. Copy the wording below and paste it into a new email
  4. Send the wording to your MP's email address and copy in public.affairs@coop.co.uk in the CC box
  5. Insert your name and home address at the base of your email: this must be done otherwise the MP will not be able to work on your behalf

At the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, my in-store colleagues were recognised as key workers and, in the words of a Cabinet Minister, have been ‘hidden heroes’ of the last 12 months as they have worked tirelessly to keep the nation fed.

While, most of our customers are kind, thoughtful and considerate, there are still people who come into our shops and abuse and, too often, attack my colleagues on a daily basis. It’s been getting worse over the past few years and even more so since the start of the pandemic. It’s not part of their job to put up with this and things need to change - this is something we all agree on I am sure.

I work for the Co-op and my Retail Chief Executive, Jo Whitfield, has been calling for greater protection for shopworkers. With my colleagues as frontline workers, I want this too. Every day my colleagues implement the laws that you and your Parliamentary colleagues put in place whether it is asking someone to show their ID for proof of age, or recently asking someone to social distance within a store. It creates a tension that has led to retail workers receiving physical and verbal abuse.

As your constituent, I wanted to ask you as my MP to represent me with two requests. I know that the upcoming Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill could provide an opportunity for either an amendment or a new clause to protect shopworkers and I have two asks of you ahead of Parliament’s scrutiny of this Bill:

1) would you personally support an amendment or clause to the Bill which provided greater protection for shopworkers?

2) will you, on my behalf as your constituent, ask the Minister responsible whether the Government would support such an amendment to the Bill to provide greater protection for shopworkers?

I was delighted that the Scottish Parliament have recently passed legislation to provide just that protection in the form of Daniel Johnson MSP’s Bill. I know it has given my colleagues in Scotland great encouragement that their elected representatives do care about them. I hope you can give me the same assurance as my Member of Parliament.

I hope you will consider my ask and help to support all of us shopworkers before people no longer want to work in retail.

I am a shopworker writing a letter

  1. Go to https://members.parliament.uk and type your home postcode into the search box
  2. Find your MP details
  3. Print out the letter below
  4. Insert the name and title of MP above the address
  5. Insert the name of MP after Dear
  6. Insert your name and home address after Yours Sincerely (this must be done otherwise the MP will not be able to work on your behalf. See below for an example.
  7. Post the letter to your MP in a stamped envelope

I am a colleague wanting to support by sending an email

  1. Go to https://members.parliament.uk
  2. Find your MP's email address
  3. Copy the wording below and paste it into a new email
  4. Send the wording to your MP's email address and copy in public.affairs@coop.co.uk in the CC box
  5. Insert your name and home address at the base of your email: this must be done otherwise the MP will not be able to work on your behalf

At the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, my in-store colleagues were recognised as key workers and, in the words of a Cabinet Minister, have been ‘hidden heroes’ of the last 12 months as they have worked tirelessly to keep the nation fed.

While, most of our customers are kind, thoughtful and considerate, there are still people who come into our shops and abuse and, too often, attack my colleagues on a daily basis. It’s been getting worse over the past few years and even more so since the start of the pandemic. It’s not part of their job to put up with this and things need to change - this is something we all agree on I am sure

I work for the Co-op and my Retail Chief Executive, Jo Whitfield, has been calling for greater protection for shopworkers. With my colleagues as frontline workers, I want this too. Every day my colleagues implement the laws that you and your Parliamentary colleagues put in place whether it is asking someone to show their ID for proof of age, or recently asking someone to social distance within a store. It creates a tension that has led to retail workers receiving physical and verbal abuse.

As your constituent, I wanted to ask you as my MP to represent me with two requests. I know that the upcoming Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill could provide an opportunity for either an amendment or a new clause to protect shopworkers and I have two asks of you ahead of Parliament’s scrutiny of this Bill:

1) would you personally support an amendment or clause to the Bill which provided greater protection for shopworkers?

2) will you, on my behalf as your constituent, ask the Minister responsible whether the Government would support such an amendment to the Bill to provide greater protection for shopworkers?

I was delighted that the Scottish Parliament have recently passed legislation to provide just that protection in the form of Daniel Johnson MSP’s Bill. I know it has given my colleagues in Scotland great encouragement that their elected representatives do care about them. I hope you can give me the same assurance as my Member of Parliament.

I hope you will consider my ask and help to support all of us shopworkers before people no longer want to work in retail.

I am a colleague wanting to support by sending a letter

  1. Go to https://members.parliament.uk and type your home postcode into the search box
  2. Find your MP details
  3. Print out the letter below
  4. Insert the name and title of MP above the address
  5. Insert the name of MP after Dear
  6. Insert your name and home address after Yours Sincerely (this must be done otherwise the MP will not be able to work on your behalf. See below for an example.
  7. Post the letter to your MP in a stamped envelope