London 2012: Union workers opposed to Sunday trading relaxation

13:08 17 April 2012

Union workers have said they are opposed to a proposed suspension of Sunday trading laws during the London 2012 Games.

The shopworkers’ union Usdaw surveyed more than 20,000 of its members about the proposals to relax trading hours on Sundays during the Olympics and Paralympics.

Of those surveyed 77 per cent they were opposed to the temporary relaxation, with just 12 per cent saying they were in favour.

The union said workers felt a suspension of trading laws could have a detrimental effect on their work-life balance but the Department for Business said the measure was temporary, and that no one would be forced to work on a Sunday during the suspension.

Usdaw released its survey results following a meeting with Business Minister Mark Prisk yesterday, where representatives for the union put forward why they did not want a suspension of trading rules.

A bill on the suspension of trading laws is due to go before the government in the coming months. The union has deemed the bill “ill-thought through, rushed and desperately lacking a proper regulatory impact assessment”.

John Hannett, general secretary of Usdaw, said: “Our members don’t want to lose the one day they get to spend some quality time with their families and they quite properly fear the very detrimental impact deregulation would have on their caring responsibilities and their ability to maintain any semblance of work-life balance.

“As many retailers are saying, the bill would impose extended opening times on the sector at a time when margins are being squeezed, consumer spending is weak and sales are flat-lining. The last thing retailers need this summer is increased overheads with little or no return.

“There is no evidence that extending Sunday opening hours will boost the economy or tourism and there has been little meaningful consultation with employers, employees and others. If there had been then I strongly suspect the bill would never have seen the light of day.

“If longer Sunday trading hours is such an important issue for the Olympics, it should have been addressed years ago, without the need to resort to last-minute legislation.”

A spokesman for the Department for Business said: “The Olympics present a once in a lifetime opportunity to showcase London and the whole of the United Kingdom. By temporarily suspending Sunday trading laws we will enhance the visitor experience and provide a boost in sales and employment to the economy.

“Retail workers already enjoy strong employment protections around Sunday working, which are not shared by other sectors. Workers will keep all these protections, including the right to opt-out of Sunday working, so no employees will be forced to work a Sunday during the suspension.

“Usdaw have raised some valid concerns about the Sunday Trading Laws suspension, which is why Government is holding discussions with the Unions, retailers and employers’ groups before the second reading of the bill. The bill, which was announced in the Budget, proposes to suspend Sunday Trading Laws only temporarily.”

Latest Stories from SNAP.PA

Because she is just as cute as a real cat.

Read more

One pilot is dead and another seriously injured after the craft exploded over the Mojave desert.

Read more

One pilot has died and another is seriously injured after a rocket belonging to billionaire Sir Richard Branson’s space tourism venture crashed during a test flight. Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo rocket came down in the Mojave Desert in California. An eyewitness reported that the craft exploded in flight after ignition. A Virgin Galactic spokesman said the […]

Read more

Promotions

BT Home Smart Cam

When I was first told by my boss that I would be doing a review on the BT Smart Cam 100 I didn’t quite know what to expect. Before even looking at the product I was picturing it as nothing more than a web cam with a fancy name.

AGA Living Subscription

Every issue of AGA Living magazine is packed full of celebrity AGA owner interviews, interior and design features, ideas to inspire your culinary imagination, mouth-watering recipes and inspirational shopping ideas.

One pilot is dead and another seriously injured after the craft exploded over the Mojave desert.

One pilot has died and another is seriously injured after a rocket belonging to billionaire Sir Richard Branson’s space tourism venture crashed during a test flight. Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo rocket came down in the Mojave Desert in California. An eyewitness reported that the craft exploded in flight after ignition. A Virgin Galactic spokesman said the […]

Another two men were taken to local hospital with serious injuries.

TOP Stories

Police attend the scene where a teenager was stabbed to death, outside a convenience store in Pilgrimage Street [Photograph by Alex Diaz/PA Wire

A teenager has been stabbed to death on Pilgrimage Street near Tabard Gardens this afternoon.

Police are looking for these two men after a sex worker was attacked with noxious gas in Soho (Picture: Metropolitan Police)

Police have released images of two men they want to speak to after a sex worker and her friend were ‘sprayed with a noxious gas’ and then robbed at an address in Soho.

The man was fatally stabbed at Middlesex University in north London (Picture: Google Streetview)

A murder investigation has been launched after a man was fatally stabbed at Middlesex University campus in the early hours of this morning.

London Bloggers

Yesterday, 10:07
The Appilepsy team: Phil Efstathiou, Alex Telek , Clarence Ji, Miklos Molnar, Joran van Apeldoorn

In Tech City, things move fast. And sometimes erratically. Like phones in the pockets of people having epileptic seizures.

Friday, October 24, 2014
The 91-year-old gave the cyclist a wallop

After Baroness Sharples bragged about walloping a cyclist, London24’s cycling blogger AViewOfLondon has this to say...

Wednesday, September 17, 2014
The cast, including Josie Lawrence and Mike Myers

Simon Collins catches up with the improv impresarios, who despite being the world’s longest-running comedy show with the same cast, have lost none of the razor-sharp wit: