The Union surveyed
over 1,000 members shortly before Christmas and a massive 73% said
they were opposed to shops being allowed to open on a Sunday for
more than the currently allowed five hours.
Over half of
shopworkers who currently work on a Sunday said they were put under
pressure by their employer to do so and 71% said that they would be
put under even more pressure to work on Sundays if opening hours
were longer. Only 54% of those who currently work on Sundays said
they received any additional pay for doing so.
Concern for family
life, maintaining a semblance of work/life balance and the need to
attend religious services were the main reasons shopworkers said
they opposed an increase in Sunday opening hours.
The union's survey
results have been revealed on the day that Social Development
Minister, Alex Attwood MLA, published a consultation paper setting
out a number of options to change Northern Ireland's Sunday trading
Hannett, Usdaw General Secretary said:
"Usdaw will be making
a formal written response to the consultation launched today but
our members in Northern Ireland have made it very clear to us that
they oppose any increase in Sunday opening hours."
"Shopworkers have an
increasingly difficult time trying to balance work and family life
and for many of our members, Sundays are the only day of the week
they get any quality time to spend with their families. Any
extension of Sunday opening hours is just going to make that
Smyth, Usdaw Belfast Area Organiser said:
"Shopworkers are all
too often put under pressure to work on a Sunday, often in an
informal way that makes them feel that if they want to maintain a
good relationship with their manager or even keep their job then
they have no choice."
"Shops can already open 149 hours a week, 363 days of the
year and Usdaw does not believe there is any clamour from the
people of Northern Ireland for extending Sunday opening. If our
society values family life at all, then I think people will make it
very clear to the Minister that there should be no increase in
Sunday trading hours."
Notes for Editors:
- Over 1,000 Usdaw members in Northern Ireland responded to a
telephone survey commissioned by the union and conducted in the
week beginning 13 December 2010.
- Sunday trading hours for shops in Northern Ireland are set out
in the Shops (Sunday Trading &c.) (NI) Order 1997. Large shops
(those with a floor area exceeding 280 square metres) are
restricted to trading for a maximum of 5 hours between 1pm and 6pm
on a Sunday.
- Usdaw (the Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers) is
the UK's fourth biggest trade union, with over 395,000 members.
Usdaw is the country's fastest growing trade union; membership has
increased by more than 15% in the last four years and by over a
quarter 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.