The union for retail and fast-food workers is joining forces with the ACT Government to remind shoppers to keep their cool at the check-out this festive season.
The ‘No One Deserves a Serve’ campaign – an initiative of the SDA – aims to remind shoppers that it is completely inappropriate to abuse workers, while also ensuring workers know their rights when it comes to customer abuse.
“We know Christmas isn’t always all carols and mistletoe and that people can get a bit stressed and hot under the collar during the festive season, but we want to remind people they have no right to take their frustrations out on retail and fast food workers who are simply trying to do their job,” SDA ACT/NSW Secretary Bernie Smith said.
“Unfortunately the statistics show that there is an epidemic of customers abusing workers on a regular basis. 90 per cent of fast food and retail workers in the ACT have been abused at work in the past 12 months – nationally, one in four retail workers are abused by customers every week. 21 per cent of ACT workers have been the victims of physical violence in the past year. That’s simply not ok.
“The vast majority of retail and fast food workers have experienced some sort of abuse, whether it’s being spat at, sworn at, yelled at or even hit. ACT retail and fast food workers are experiencing abuse from customers at levels above the national average. Something has to change.
“No one deserves a serve, especially when you’re simply trying to do your job.
The joint SDA and ACT Government campaign will see advertising materials reminding people that ‘No One Deserves a Serve’ put up around the territory from today.
“It’s great that the ACT Government has got behind this campaign – it just goes to show how seriously the government is taking the issue of customer abuse.” Mr Smith said.
“It’s disappointing that we need to run a campaign to remind people not to be abusive, but unfortunately it’s necessary – particularly during the festive season.”
Mr Smith said an important part of the campaign is also reminding workers of their rights in the workplace.
“Workers often feel intimidated and unsure as to what they can do if they’re abused by customers.
“Workers should never feel like they have to take abuse from customers. There are systems in place to support any worker put in that situation. Abuse and harassment are not acceptable in any workplace, and a retail or fast food store is no different.
“This Christmas we’re calling on customers to check their behaviour before they get to the checkout. No one deserves a serve.”