Media release: FIRST Union
Monday 19 November, 2012
Workplace no place for pushing and shoving
FIRST Union says that while there may be a bit of leeway for getting physical on the rugby field, there is no place for it in the workplace and that shop workers should be treated with respect by both customers and management.
“Retail staff head into the Christmas season knowing it will be more difficult and stressful,” said FIRST Union Retail Sector Secretary Maxine Gay. “The number of abusive incidents increases dramatically as the shops are busier and customers are under pressure.”
Maxine Gay was responding to media reports today that a New World staff member has laid an assault complaint after being shoved by their manager, former All Black Eric Rush.
“Supermarket workers need to know that their managers will help protect them from the most difficult customers, not take part in physical intimidation themselves. It is not okay for a manager to get physical with their own staff,” said Maxine Gay.
Maxine Gay called on the Foodstuffs chain to ensure its managers received proper training on how to treat their staff with respect, and to ensure that its supermarkets were safe places to work.
“We all need to spare a thought for over-worked and underpaid retail staff as we go about our Christmas shopping,” said Maxine Gay. “We also need to make sure that all managers work towards making the workplace safer, not more dangerous.”