I’m delighted to see my bill pass Stage 2 at the Economy Committee this morning, especially as it is Usdaw’s Respect for Shopworkers Week. It was encouraging to hear so many supportive voices, recognising the important work of our retail workers. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the committee members for the spirit of co-operation they have shown since the beginning of this process.

This pandemic has seen retail workers performing critical roles, supplying the basic essentials to all of us and keeping us safe as we do so. However, figures from Usdaw show that three quarters of staff say abuse has been worse during the pandemic. With tighter restrictions expected as we head into winter and with Christmas just around the corner, we will see even more pressure on our retail staff, so it’s now more important than ever that we properly support them.

I look forward to further constructive dialogue with Scottish Government Ministers and other political parties, with a view to hopefully having the final vote on my Bill to take place before the busy last-minute Christmas shopping period.  I was pleased to see fellow Co-operative Party member Rhoda Grant MSP call on the Scottish Government to help Santa Claus and deliver protection for retail workers as an early Christmas present.


I would like to thank USDAW, who along with the Co-operative Group and Scotmid, the SGF, the SRC and retail groups across the country, have supported this from day one and I now look ahead to championing our retail workers in the final Parliamentary Stage debate before my bill becomes law.

Please ask your MSPs to support my Bill at Stage 3 when all MSPs get a vote on it.