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Shopworkers delighted as Belfast city councillors overwhelmingly reject extended Sunday trading

Date: 18 May 2018 Shopworkers’ trade union Usdaw has welcomed today’s decision by Belfast City Council’s Strategic Policy & Resources Committee not to extend Sunday trading hours. The crunch meeting followed an Usdaw protest outside Belfast City Hall.

Mike Aylward – Usdaw Divisional Officer says: “Our members are delighted that city councillors again rejected extended Sunday trading by 16 votes to 4, which is the same 80% opposition as the last time the committee considered the proposal. We said at the beginning of this campaign that nothing had changed since last year and that proved to be the case.

“Usdaw ran an evidence based campaign to demonstrate that longer Sunday trading hours are not wanted by the vast majority of shopworkers and would be a threat to the profitability, productivity and viability of many retail business. So we are very pleased that city councillors have listened to those concerns, supported our campaign and recognised the efforts Usdaw has made to illustrate the detrimental effects longer Sunday trading would have on Belfast.

“The current Sunday trading arrangements are a fair compromise, which has worked well for over 20 years, and gives everyone a little bit of what they want. Retailers can trade, customers can shop, staff can work; whilst Sunday remains a special day, different to other days, and shopworkers can spend some time with their family.

“Extended Sunday trading has twice been rejected emphatically by city councillors within a year. We are more than happy to work with the city council and all stakeholders in a positive way to animate Belfast and improve the offer for visitors, tourists and residents; but we do not expect them to return to the Sunday trading issue again.”

Notes for editors:

Usdaw (Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers) is the UK's fifth biggest and the fastest growing trade union with around 430,000 members. Membership has increased by more than 28% over the 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.

For Usdaw press releases visit: http://www.usdaw.org.uk/news and you can follow us on Twitter @UsdawUnion

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The official website of the Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers