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Usdaw protesters invite Belfast city councillors to a breakfast briefing ahead of a decision on extending Sunday trading

Date: 17 May 2018 Shopworkers’ trade union Usdaw is leading a Belfast City Hall protest of shopworkers in opposition to extending Sunday trading hours and in favour of a Retail NI compromise solution to deliver a vibrant and prosperous weekend economy for Belfast residents, visitors and tourists.
The protest, ahead of a meeting the Strategic Policy & Resources Committee, will run from 8.30am until the start of the meeting at 9.30am, on Friday 18 May 2018 in Donegall Square outside Belfast City Hall.
 
There will be an opportunity for photos and interviews with Usdaw officials and local shopworkers.
 
Mike Aylward – Usdaw Divisional Officer says: “As part of the shopworkers’ protest, Usdaw reps will be hosting a breakfast briefing for city councillors. So they can hear more about the fair and reasonable proposal we are supporting to animate the city on a Sunday morning, but not at the expense of shopworkers coming under even more pressure to work longer hours on Sundays.
 
“The proposal by Retail NI for a ‘Small Shop Sunday’ campaign will encourage shoppers and visitors to use the smaller independent retailers who currently open on Sunday mornings, before the large stores open at 1pm. It allows small independent retailers to complement the larger retailers and can be put in place immediately as it requires no legislative changes. This proposal has a great deal of merit and is worthy of support from city councillors.
 
“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. The Retail NI proposal totally respects that fair compromise settlement.
 
“We are hopeful that city councillors will again reject extending Sunday trading in large stores and support the Retail NI reasonable and measured response to the challenge of enhancing Belfast’s weekend economy. Their ‘Small Shop Sunday’ campaign ticks all the boxes. There is no change whatsoever for shopworkers, Belfast is vibrant and alive, with tourists having somewhere spend their money. So everyone should be happy.”
 
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