News Default Easter Challenges for Dedicated Workers
Shop Distributive & Allied Employees Association

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Easter Challenges for Workers: Abuses Amidst Closures

By Belad Al-Karkhey

Published on March 27, 2024


As religious holidays approach, supermarket staff brace themselves for a unique kind of challenge. While most people look forward to Easter egg hunts and family gatherings, retail workers face an unsettling surge in customer abuse. Let's delve into the details.

The Disturbing Trend

Imagine an Easter egg—symbolic of joy and celebration. But for retail workers, that same egg represents a dreaded shift. Last-minute shoppers, frantically gathering supplies before closures, often unleash their frustrations on those just doing their jobs. The result? A sharp increase in verbal abuse directed at supermarket staff.

Survey Findings

A recent survey conducted by the Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees Association (SDA) reveals alarming statistics:

  • Over 80% of retail workers experience verbal abuse during their shifts.
  • 63% report physical or mental health impacts due to customer abuse and violence.

Workers' Wellbeing at Stake

Supermarket closures on religious holidays, such as Good Friday and Easter Sunday, trigger a frenzy of last-minute shopping. Stressed-out customers flood busy stores, and reduced business hours add to the chaos. Unfortunately, some of this frustration spills over onto workers.

A Plea for Respect

Gerard Dwyer, the SDA national secretary, emphasizes the importance of treating workers with kindness:

"No one deserves to fear abuse for simply going to work. We wish we didn't have to remind the public of this every year, but the numbers on customer abuse tell us that we do."

Cost of Living Pressures

Adding fuel to the fire, rising costs in supermarkets have drawn public criticism. As Easter approaches, let's remember that behind the cash registers and stacked shelves are individuals striving to serve their communities.


Next time you grab that Easter egg, spare a thought for the dedicated workers ensuring our shelves remain stocked. Let's treat them with the respect they deserve.

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