John Hannett – Usdaw General Secretary said: ‘I am pleased that Lord Borwick has withdrawn his amendment which was tabled towards the end of Parliament’s scrutiny of the Deregulation Bill, a Government Bill that is not about Sunday trading.
‘The Government was very clear in their commitment to a full consultation should the issue of changing the current Sunday Trading laws be raised again following the unsuccessful suspension of the Sunday Trading Act for the 2012 Olympic Games.’
‘Lord Borwick’s amendment sought to exempt garden centres from the Sunday Trading Act. With garden centres these days selling a wide variety of products including furniture, kitchenware, gifts, toys and games, it is difficult to distinguish between a garden centre and a DIY store with a large gardening department or a supermarket selling a wide range of plants and garden products in spring, sometimes under a marquee in the car park. An exemption for garden centres could have opened up a loophole in the Sunday Trading Act, allowing large stores to redefine themselves as a garden centre.
‘The issue of Sunday Trading is hugely important for retail workers. Our members need to spend time with their family and ensure that Sunday remains a different day to every other. In a recent survey of almost 2,000 Usdaw members, 91% said there should not be any change to Sunday trading regulations and we will continue to defend our members’ interests.’
Notes for editors:
Usdaw (Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers) is the UK's fourth biggest and the fastest growing trade union with 430,000 members. Membership has increased by more than 17% in the last five years and by nearly a third in the last decade. Most Usdaw members work in the retail sector, but the Union also has many members in transport, distribution, food manufacturing, chemicals and other trades.