SHOP workers in Shropshire say they have been physically assaulted at them while serving the public during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Retail trade union Usdaw has renewed a call for legislation to protect retail staff after releasing new statistics showing that 79 per cent of shopworkers say abuse was worse last year.

Welsh shopworkers are speaking out about their own experiences.

The final results of Usdaw’s 2020 survey of 2,729 shopworkers across the UK found that:

88 per cent experienced verbal abuse,

60 per cent were threatened by a customer and nine per cent were assaulted.

Paddy Lillis, Usdaw general secretary says he was 'heart-broken' to hear testimonies from Welsh shopworkers who deserve far more respect than they receive.

"Our latest survey results clearly show the scale of the appalling violence, threats and abuse faced by shopworkers and demonstrate the need for a ‘protection of shopworkers’ law," he said.

"It has been a terrible year for our members, with almost 90 per cent of shopworkers suffering abuse, two-thirds threatened and one in 10 assaulted.

“We are saying loud and clear that enough is enough, abuse should never be part of the job.

"At a time when we should all be working together to get through this crisis, it is a disgrace that staff working to keep food on the shelves and the shop safe for customers are being abused.

"Action to protect shop workers is needed.

“The UK Government has persistently opposed new legislation, offering little more than sympathy and objecting to the Alex Norris protection of shopworkers bill in the House of Commons.

"We are now looking for MPs to support key workers across the retail sector and help turn around the UK Government’s opposition.”

Some of the replies from those surveyed included one shop worker in Shropshire, who said: "Shouted and screamed and put fist up to my face.

"We had a shoplifter threaten to give us the Covid-19 by spitting on our faces. He was also physical with another colleague.”

One in Mid Wales said: “Most customers are fine.

"I have at least two or three a day that are rude. Have thrown bank cards and money at me.

“I had a customer tell me she has the virus and cough in my face.”