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Shadow Business Secretary promises Labour support for shopworkers on Sunday trading

Date: 06 February 2016 Shopworkers’ trade union leader John Hannett has welcomed the support of The Rt Hon Angela Eagle MP to oppose Sunday trading changes proposed by the Government in the Enterprise Bill.

Speaking this afternoon at the annual Usdaw Political Conference in Warrington, Angela Eagle MP - Shadow Business Secretary said: “The government are trying to prevent proper scrutiny of their Sunday trading proposals by not publishing them until the last minute. That is because longer Sunday opening won't create jobs, will damage small stores and simply put greater pressure on shopworkers to give up even more of their family time at weekends. That is why I am supporting Usdaw to keep Sundays special for all of us.”

John Hannett - Usdaw General Secretary says: “Just when we thought the Tories couldn’t get any worse they announced unworkable Sunday trading changes, in spite of David Cameron’s pre-election promise.

“So once again, we are fighting against longer Sunday opening. Fighting for our members who want a proper balance between work and life, to spend time with their family, take part in community activities or just take a well-earned breather.

“The truth is that nobody wants the Government’s proposed devolution. Shopworkers don’t want it, we surveyed over 10,000 retail staff and found that 91% oppose longer opening. Convenience stores don’t want it, they would lose that small boost to trade that is all that keeps some going. Independent shops don’t want it, they already work very long hours, with Sunday being their only break. And most big retailers don’t want it, because there is no evidence longer opening hours will increase customer spend.

“The Government’s plan to devolve Sunday trading to over 300 local authorities and mayors will cause chaos, for customers and for retailers. The Government hasn’t published the responses to their consultation, almost 5 months after it closed, because they say not to go ahead.

“So we welcome Angela’s support and that of so many MPs from all parties. Whatever fight we find ourselves in, we’d want Angela Eagle on our side. Together we will do everything we can to persuade MPs to leave Sunday trading alone. The current law works well and is a great British compromise that gives everyone a little bit if what they want.”

Notes for editors:

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

Usdaw survey of retail staff: http://www.usdaw.org.uk/CMSPages/GetFile.aspx?guid=e401039e-75f9-4675-8216-56fa579b65b0

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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