We were pleased to see the article on Nationwide’s intranet yesterday (14th December 2020) encouraging employees to sign the USDAW petition, which calls for legislation to protect retail workers from threatening behaviour.
The level of abuse that some Nationwide employees have had to endure this year, in the most difficult of times, is shocking and unacceptable. NGSU fully supports the call to sign the petition and, as members will know, we’ve been encouraging everyone to do this since August. Please sign the petition if you haven’t already, and write to your MP. You can sign here. To find out who your MP is and how to contact them, use this site.
The level of verbal and aggressive behaviour (VAB) has reached new levels this year, but it is not new and is something that our colleagues in branches and contact centres have had to cope with for many years. The Union has raised this issue persistently at the Health and Safety Committee and through our formal meetings with branch network leaders. It has taken a long time for the Society to take decisive action, although we acknowledge that the ‘Sticks and Stones’ initiative is now making a difference and much more support is available to employees.
The Union has asked for clarity, on many occasions, on how and when the Society might support employees in taking legal action against a customer in the case of a physical assault. It seems the onus is on employees to pursue any action – this is clearly difficult and would add to the stress and anxiety of the situation. This is why better legislation is urgently needed to protect our frontline colleagues – please sign the petition.