UNITED Co-operatives is to take a major step forward in its support for shopworkers' union Usdaw's Freedom from Fear campaign, which aims to reduce the threat posed by criminals to shop staff.
The announcement of plans for a new charter specific to United was made by the society's General Manager HR, Christine Kingsland, at the annual United/Usdaw conference for shop stewards held in Southport.
Speaking to delegates, Mrs Kingsland declared: `We are fully behind the Usdaw Freedom from Fear campaign and signed up to the associated charter as soon as it was launched.
`Now we want to go one step further to achieve more localised support, by working in partnership with Usdaw to develop a specific United Co-operatives/Usdaw Freedom From Fear charter.`
United's announcement was welcomed by fellow conference speaker, John McGarry, Usdaw's North West Divisional Officer, who said: `We are delighted that the UK's largest independent co-operative society backs our campaign and, indeed, is proposing to give it a major boost by implementing an Usdaw/United charter. We hope that other retailers will follow this lead.`
United Chief Executive Peter Marks commented: `A partnership with Usdaw is vital to our determined efforts to reduce threats to staff.`
Other speakers at the conference included, Ruth Stoney, Usdaw's Political Officer and Jim Gibson, General Manager – Safety and Security at United.