The Mandate Trade Union is calling on members of the public to respect retail workers during the busy Christmas shopping season.

The call coincides with an international day of action which seeks to raise awareness about the importance of combating violence and harassment across the retail sector.

Mandate General Secretary Gerry Light said customers must ensure that retail workers and the environment within which they work is free from violence and harassment but that there is evidence from across the globe that the problem is on the rise.

"Evidence also supports the reality that women are more likely to be subjected to unacceptable behaviour," Mr Light said.

"Employers cannot remain silent on this issue and Mandate is calling on employers to generate greater customer awareness around this critically important matter and in this regard our members would welcome in-store point-of-sale signage that sends out this clear message," he added.

As part of an ongoing "Respect for Retail Workers" campaign, Mandate is calling on the Government to review and introduce, as necessary, stronger legislation which outlaws the abuse of workers and prohibits violence in the workplace.

"Respect for retail workers should be maintained throughout the year but this time of year does allow for a heightening of awareness around the issue and for a renewed call to customers to show retail workers the same level of support, solidarity, and respect that they unselfishly displayed particularly during the Covid crisis," Mr Light said.