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

500 clowns embarked upon Mexico City with the hope that their laughter would be infectious.

Read more

cadbury’s have installed a giant spider’s web at The Shard, to make Halloween even scarier – and our teeth rot even more.

Read more

Will Cesc out-perform Angel? Will Sunderland be utterly rubbish again? And surely Erik Lamela can’t repeat *that* goal…

Read more

Promotions

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.

Dojo gives you hand picked recommendations for events, places and activities in London

Tired of always hearing about some amazing event in London after its gone, missing out on the best activities? That’s where Dojo comes in.

The family to which Ebola belongs could be as old as 23 million years.

The gaming industry’s answer to the Oscars has dished out its annual awards.

Potential female candidates are already being prepared for the upcoming diocese vacancies in Southwell, Nottingham, Gloucester and Oxford.

Watch the moment the Shadow Chancellor got interrupted by a daring arachnid.

TOP Stories

17:48
The man stole the bus from south-east London (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

A double decker bus was stolen and taken for a rather long drive in south-east London, through picturesque villages, before being dumped in a bus stop - with £500 worth of damage.

14:24
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...

14:03
Police are keen to talk to this man who was seen leaving the building at around the time of the assault [Photograph from Metropolitan Police]

Police are hunting a pervert who pretended he was a plumber before sexually assaulting a schoolgirl in a Bethnal Green flat.

London Bloggers

14:24
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:

Monday, September 1, 2014
Do you really need an explanation for that?! (Pic by Serena Marinelli)

If you’ve ever seen an Italian movie, you would probably know how important body language is in the culture.