Retail workers must be treated with respect and dignity, urged SGF

The Scottish Grocers’ Federation (SGF) has urged customers to treat shop staff with respect and not direct their anger and frustration towards them, as Covid-19 cases continue to rise and retailers must implement government safety mandates.

The SGF explained how convenience stores are likely to reintroduce mandates and rules such as managing social distancing and queueing systems as part of the effort to slow the spread of the omicron variant.

“Convenience stores have maintained high standards of hygiene and safety throughout the pandemic and will continue to do so,” SGF’s head of policy Dr John Lee said.

“However, the latest Scottish government announcement is going to put a huge amount of pressure back on some shop workers – and there may be a need for queuing to control numbers in some stores to ensure people can move around them smoothly and safely.

“Unfortunately this is having to happen at the busiest time of the year for retail – and we understand that some people will be unhappy.”

READ MORE: More support for retail sector needed as Covid-19 cases surge, warns Colliers

“We are, though, asking shoppers to be patient and not to take their frustrations out on shop staff, who are key workers trying their best to serve their communities while keeping people safe.

“We have sadly seen some shoppers behave unacceptably all too many times during the pandemic. But it is now a crime to abuse a retail worker and we encourage store owners across the country to take a zero-tolerance stance against all crime.

He added: “By showing patience towards retail workers – perhaps allowing some extra time for your shopping – you can help them to help you.

“The measures in place are there to protect us all and they are simply doing their job.”

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