Jackie Baillie, MSP for Dumbarton, the Vale of Leven, Helensburgh and Lomond, has called on the Scottish Government to act on the shocking results of an USDAW survey of their members in retail.
A survey carried out by USDAW trade union of over 7000 essential workers in shops, distribution warehouses, road transport and delivery drivers has highlighted the extent of the strain that Covid-19 has put them under.
Within the findings, it was revealed that 70% of key workers in the retail industry have experienced feelings of stress and anxiety due to the increased pressures of Covid-19. Just under 30% have had to take time off work because either themselves or a dependent were displaying symptoms. The survey also found that many of these key workers were not coping financially with the minimal and low pay that they were receiving, resulting in many applying for additional benefits and Universal Credit. It has also been found that abuse of shop workers has more than doubled as a result of Covid-19.
Jackie Baillie MSP said:
“This survey shows the awful impact that the current crisis is having on our vital, hardworking retail workers. Now more than ever, we are relying on these workers to ensure that we have access to essential provisions and to deliver us food.
“It is concerning that so many are experiencing such levels of anxiety and the fact that abuse of shop workers has doubled is an ugly result of this crisis.
“I urge the Scottish Government and business owners to ensure that these committed workers are both supported financially and protected from the increased stress levels caused by Covid-19. I ask local people to take a second to thank these workers when you come into contact with them, understand the immense pressure that they are under and never treat them with anything other than respect.”