With the banning of single use plastic bags across Australia in the coming weeks the union for retail workers the SDA, will launch a special ‘Don’t Bag Retail Staff’ campaign as part of their ongoing campaign to stop abusive behaviour towards retail workers.
Want to know more about your rights and reusable bags?
- Read more about your rights at the checkout
- Look out for this info in your store
- Hear SDA Secretary Bernie Smith interviewed on the risks of reusable bags
- Listen to SDA radio ads to educate the public, don't bag retail staff
Woolworths will phase out single use plastic bags in their stores on 20 June with Coles to do the same on 1 July.
SDA NSW Secretary Bernie Smith said customers should be prepared for the new bag rules.
“Whilst we welcome this positive change for the environment we are concerned for retail workers. We want to remind customers to bring their own reusable bag or simply purchase one at the checkout.”
“While we understand that some customers may be frustrated by this change, there is no excuse for abusive or violent behaviour towards retail staff.”
Mr Smith said the union will be reminding retail staff about their rights, because shop assistants have rights at the checkout too. They can:
refer abusive customers to managers;
refuse to accept filthy bags; and
politely decline to overfill bags so they’re not too heavy to lift.
“This will be a change for retail staff, but they should always follow safe work practices and report any abusive or violent behaviour from customers about the changes to their supervisor.”
“Retail workers should not have to bear the brunt of any abusive behaviour, just for following the new rules.”
“Our message to the public is clear, if you forget your reusable bags – “Don’t Bag Retail Staff – No One Deserves a Serve”.
SDA research involving 6,000 retail and fast food workers last year found that more than 85% had experienced abuse from customers at work.
“Please be prepared, and please, don’t bag retail staff.
“After all, no one deserves a serve simply for doing their job.”
The SDA has placed ads on radio and online reminding customers to prepare for the single-use plastic bags ban.