The SDA, the union for workers in retail, fast food and warehousing has launched a major national campaign ‘No One Deserves a Serve’ to stop the abuse and violence towards retail and fast food workers by customers this Christmas.
Research carried out by SDA found that over 85 per cent of retail and fast food workers had experienced abuse from customers and SDA National Secretary Gerard Dwyer said there was no excuse for abuse being directed at staff.
“Imagine going to work every day knowing you will probably be abused. That’s the reality for thousands of Australian retail and fast food workers and it’s completely unacceptable, not just at Christmas but all year round.
“Retail and fast food workers have told us they routinely have customers swearing and yelling at them, spitting in their faces or threatening them, simply for doing their jobs.
“For retail and fast food workers this abuse can severely impact their physical and psychological health and it cannot continue. Everyone has the right to be able to do their job in a safe environment.”
Dwyer added that while retail and fast food workers were trained to provide good customer service, this did not extend to tolerating verbal or physical abuse.
“The fact is, the customer is not always right. Abusing retail and fast food workers is wrong. No-one deserves a serve while they are just trying to do their job,” he said.
“This Christmas we’re calling on customers to check their behaviour before they get to the checkout.”
“In addition to this major public awareness campaign to change public attitudes and behaviour, the SDA is looking drive industry changes to ensure that customers can’t continue this behaviour and build better protections for retail and fast food workers.”
The SDA campaign will appear across television, radio, digital and outdoor advertising and the SDA has said it will be holding a national industry roundtable in March 2018 to progress the issue and to develop practical workplace solutions to protect workers.