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Usdaw members to lobby MPs to oppose Government changes to Sunday trading laws

Date: 13 October 2015 The shopworkers’ trade union Usdaw will tomorrow lobby MPs to oppose the Government’s proposal to devolve Sunday trading regulations. The matter was the subject of a Government consultation, which closed a month ago.

Usdaw members from across the country will be meeting with MPs to explain how extended opening in large stores will lead to even more retail staff being pressured into working longer hours on Sundays, which is why over 90% of shopworkers oppose any extension to Sunday trading hours.

John Hannett – Usdaw General Secretary says: “Devolving Sunday trading is deregulation by the back door and will create chaos in the retail sector, as every area adopts their own regime. It doesn’t provide local authorities with proper powers to influence their retail economy, just a huge headache as a few retailers badger them to allow longer opening.

“For this reason we believe that many retailers and local authorities have responded negatively to the consultation, or at least said that these proposals are not what they are looking for from Government. We fear that devolution is a solution looking for a problem.

“It is not yet clear if the Government will proceed to legislation, but if they do I hope that they will abide by their promise of a full consultation and parliamentary process. That would mean full disclosure of consultation responses and a considered response from the Government, demonstrating that they have listened, before the introduction of any legislation to change Sunday trading.

 “The Sunday Trading Act is a great British 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.”

Notes for editors:

Usdaw (Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers) is the UK's fourth biggest and the fastest growing trade union with nearly 440,000 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.

The BIS Consultation closed on 16 September and applies to England and Wales: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/devolving-sunday-trading-rules

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