By Hannah Blythyn

MS for Delyn

This week I’m supporting shop workers in their campaign to prevent violence, threats and abuse against workers as part of Respect for Shop Workers Week (from November 15-21).

I called in to meet USDAW union representatives at the Tesco store in Mold on Monday to show my solidarity with the staff. I will also be meeting representatives from the union on the steps of the Senedd this week to help highlight the issue.

Shop workers were a vital lifeline for us all during the pandemic and yet a survey by the union showed that 79% of shopworkers said that abuse was worse last year (2020) than in previous years. It showed a shocking 88% had experienced verbal abuse, 60% were threatened by a customer and 9% were assaulted.

I support retail workers and hope that publicity around Respect for Shop Workers Week leads to a greater understanding among the general public understands that abuse is not part of the job.

It’s also Real Living Wage Week this week. This year marks 20th anniversary of the start of the campaign for the Real Living Wage – still the only UK wage rate that is calculated based on the cost of a basket of household goods and services so that people can meet their everyday needs.

It’s not to be confused with the UK Government’s lower ‘national living wage’ based on calculation of median earnings across the country, rather than living costs.

There are 359 Living Wage employers in Wales and 11,750 employees being paid at the Real Living Wage according to Cynnal Cymru, the Living Wage Accrediting Body for Wales.

Real Living Wage employers range from local authorities to charitable trusts and foundations, theatres, universities and the corporate sector but we need more businesses to sign up.

Since last March, despite the pandemic’s impact, more than 200 new employers committed to pay a real Living Wage. Many businesses have been persuaded that it is not only the right thing to do, but that it makes good business sense, with healthier and more productive workers that are less likely to be absent or leave for another job.

We all know the hugely important role care workers have played during the pandemic. They have been right on the front line, along with their NHS colleagues, but there is still a shortage of people willing to enter the sector.

That’s why the Welsh Government’s plan to ensure social care staff get paid the Real Living Wage is crucial.

The Deputy Minister for Social Care, Julie Morgan, said this summer that she wants to see the first group of social care workers being paid the Real Living Wage early this Senedd term, with other groups within the sector to follow.

It is essential we make care work a long term career choice – and one where workers feel properly rewarded and supported, to ensure the sector can meet the changing needs of our communities.

Get in touch and I’ll do my best to help

If you have an issue you’d like to speak to me about I will do my best to help.

You can drop me a line by emailing or get in touch by using the contact form on my website: