Finance

Counting staff face abuse after LynnMall terrorist attack

The LynnMall countdown is likely to reopen tomorrow with security measures – a week after a terrorist attack that injured seven people.

Countdown supermarket at LynnMall on September 6.

Image: RNZ / Liu Chen

The West Auckland supermarket in New Lin has been closed ever since. احمد سمسودین Picked up a knife last Friday and stabbed several shoppers.

Countdown spokeswoman Kerry Haneefen said the company had purchased body cameras to prevent an increase in violence and verbal abuse with staff.

He told Checkpoint Incidents have increased due to lockdowns and terrorist attacks.

“The aggression we’re seeing all the time – it’s anyone, it’s about people’s behavior.

“We’ve had some horrible verbal abuse in the last few days since Friday … on Friday night about this incident and … it’s just horrible. It’s hate speech.

“I really want to be prosecuted for what they have told our people.

He said store abuse this year was worse than the previous Auckland lockdown in August 2020 – a 600 per cent increase in violence.

But he said abuse was taking place across the country and that most were in line with the rules of wearing masks.

“We had a psychological attack today … We presented an incident in a shop in South Auckland where a team member was pushed into the corridor. It’s physical and it’s verbal, it’s been a difficult month.

“We were slapped by a store manager over the weekend.

“(It) makes me feel very upset and sick with my bones.”

Hanafeen said the 26 crew members on the shift during the LynnMall attack were still confused, and one pair was uncertain about their return.

“I think there’s a couple who aren’t ready to come back, which is fine. We found it in Dunedin, too.

“Some people want to come back because it’s normal and it’s with their friends.”

“There are daily check-ins with staff and professional support,” he said.

Hanafeen said there are financial incentives for staff working through Level 4 lockdown, such as a 10% extra pay, and a 10% grocery discount.

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