ESSENTIAL WORKERS: Amid sights of abuse, this Warwick woman has urged shoppers to be kind.
ESSENTIAL WORKERS: Amid sights of abuse, this Warwick woman has urged shoppers to be kind.

Supermarket staff victims of abuse in panic-buying craziness

BEING sworn at and abused day after day.

That is the reality for many retail workers around the country, including the Southern Downs.

With several reports of abuse towards supermarket staff and other essential workers, Warwick resident Lisa Weatherley said the buying frenzy had begun taking a toll on staff.

"People think it's only the city but the impact is out here, enough is enough to see the stress on workers and to notice the cracks starting," she said.

Over the past few weeks, she had seen several incidents where supermarket staff were abused for shopping limits and low stock.

In one case, a dad started swearing at security guards when they caught him trying to bypass toilet paper restrictions.

"I'm the type of person when I see someone cop a mouthful I just want to give them a hug," she said.

"I worked in retail and I remember what is was like and I'm so glad I'm not in that industry anymore, because they're copping it big time.

"They're cleaning triple and quadruple and having more tasks put upon each and every member, just to keep everyone healthy and fed."

Now, more than ever, was the time to show compassion for those who risked their families by serving the community, Ms Weatherley said.

"We wouldn't be here without them there," she said.

"We really need to pull out the kindness and be grateful that they're here for us. It can be a simple thing but a few words can really brighten up their day."

Spano IGA's owner Frank Spano said no complaints had been made by staff, and staff were being treated well so far during the crisis.

"Availability is an issue in the entire nation, so unfortunately shoppers won't get the full offerings," he said.

"But we have a zero-tolerance policy and are going through our normal processes.

"Customers are still being served and registers are open."