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Sunday trading deregulation would be a slap in the face for key workers says Usdaw

Date: 06 June 2020 Shopworkers’ trade union leader Paddy Lillis, Usdaw General Secretary, has today written to Business Secretary Alok Sharma condemning the Government for not responding to the union’s concerns about Sunday trading deregulation and failing to provide a proper strategy to help the retail industry.
Reports that the Government is yet again considering suspension of Sunday trading laws appeared in this morning’s newspapers. The letter reads:
 
Rt Hon Alok Sharma MP
Secretary of State for BEIS
 
Dear Mr Sharma
 
Plans to Deregulate Sunday Trading Hours
 
I wrote to you on 14 April outlining Usdaw's concerns regarding reports of plans being considered to dismantle the longstanding compromise around Sunday trading that has worked so well for decades. I have not received a response and was shocked to see reports across the media today that the Government is planning to completely deregulate Sunday trading hours.
 
Usdaw members and their colleagues have been working throughout this crisis keeping the shelves in our supermarkets stocked. This move to deregulate Sunday trading hours would come across as an opportunistic use of the coronavirus crisis and a slap in the face for each and every worker in retail and the food supply chain. I would hope that the Government would instead spend its time exploring how we can ensure that these low paid key workers can get the level of pay and job security they deserve.
 
For a number of years, Usdaw has been calling for a Government strategy to support the retail sector, especially the non-food sector that is currently closed. The Government has instead on a number of occasions started a debate over Sunday opening hours. Each time, we have shown that there is no credible economic case in favour of deregulating Sunday trading; and, on each previous occasion, the Government have backed off and withdrawn proposals to deregulate. These current proposals would not provide any real help to the retail sector as it looks to how to recover from the crisis.
 
On behalf of Usdaw members and their colleagues who have served the community so well during this crisis, I ask you to confirm that this unfair and unnecessary proposal will not be pursued any further.
 
Yours sincerely
 
Paddy Lillis
Usdaw General Secretary
 
Notes for editors:
 
Usdaw (Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers) is the UK's fifth biggest trade union with over 400,000 members. Membership has increased by more than one-third over the last couple of decades. 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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