The union representing retail workers is calling on customers to extend the goodwill of the Festive Season to shop assistants coping with the frenetic pace of last-minute Christmas shopping.
The Shop Distributive and Allied Employees’ Association (SDA) is the union representing over 25,000 retail, warehouse and fast food workers. SDA South Australia Secretary Peter Malinauskas is urging shoppers not to take out their frustrations on innocent shop assistants in the countdown to Christmas Day.
“Be kind to those working behind the counter this Christmas, be patient and know that they’re doing the best they can in very stressful circumstances,” he said.
Mr Malinauskas said the majority of customers do the right thing and are pleasant: “But we’ve had reports of retail workers being spat on, threatened or reduced to tears by aggressive customers,” he said.
“Shop assistants do a great job dealing with frustrated customers sick of queuing to buy presents or rushing to get the Christmas ham or turkey. Customers need to remember that not everything in the store is under the control of the shop assistant.”
Mr Malinauskas recommends that shoppers talk to a Manager if the queues are too long or if they’re not able to find people to serve them.
“And we should all remember that no sooner do shop assistants battle their way through the busy Christmas period, they face the frenzied post-Christmas sales.”