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UK shoppers urged to treat retail workers with respect during virus outbreak

By Tom Wilkinson, PA

Shoppers have been urged to do their bit in the coronavirus outbreak and not take out their frustrations on hard-pressed retail staff.

One supermarket worker said the way some customers are treating them is shameful, writing on Facebook: "Staff are trying to be as helpful as possible and people treat us like scum bags.

"We can't help the delivery and if people are bulk buying (which they are) we can't replenish the shelves quick enough before people are pulling items off.

"There was a man at the weekend selling toilet rolls out from the car park out of the back of his van!!!

"Crazy!!!"

In Durham, when a customer thanked a store worker for coming in to keep the shop open, she looked touched, saying: "Not everyone appreciates it.

"Some people are getting angry and I have decided not to serve rude people."

Shopworkers' union Usdaw said members are facing serious concerns about the virus and its impact on their health and that of their families, yet they are still keeping stores open.

It said: "They are experiencing this worry at the same time as dealing with extremely high demand, coming into contact with hundreds of people every day, and working flat out so that customers can buy the things that they need.

"We understand that it can be frustrating when shops are very busy, or you can't get the items you want, but it is never acceptable to take this out on shopworkers or delivery drivers.

"It isn't their fault, and they are doing the very best they can. Please treat our members with the courtesy and respect that they deserve."