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Derry City & Strabane Council to hear evidence from Usdaw opposing longer Sunday trading hours

Date: 06 July 2017 Shopworkers’ trade union leader John Hannett is leading a high level delegation giving evidence opposing longer Sunday trading hours to the Health & Community Committee of Derry City & Strabane Council. The meeting starts at 4pm, on Thursday 6 July at the Strabane Council Office.
Ahead of presenting evidence to councillors on behalf of shopworkers opposed to extended Sunday shopping, John Hannett - Usdaw General Secretary says: “Our members in large stores remain absolutely opposed to extended Sunday trading, after a member survey came out 6:1 against.

“Crucially, even the supporters of extended Sunday opening hours have not been able to show it will lead to economic benefits or job creation. Longer opening hours do not mean people have more money to spend, so large stores have higher opening costs, but similar takings.

“The current Sunday trading arrangements are a fair compromise, which has worked well for 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.

“Sundays would lose a lot of what makes them special and we do not believe that Derry City & Strabane Council should pass their proposal to use a ‘holiday resorts’ loophole to extend shop trading hours.”

Results of Usdaw's Survey of Members: In November 2016 Usdaw conducted a survey of a representative group of over 600 of our members working in retail in Northern Ireland. The results of this survey clearly demonstrate the strength of feeling of Usdaw members, and retail workers, on this subject:
  • 81% of respondents currently work at least some Sundays whilst over a quarter work every Sunday.
  • 85% of respondents thought that shops should not open longer on Sundays.
  • Almost two thirds of respondents said that they already come under pressure to work on Sundays.
  • Over half of respondents have some form of caring responsibilities, either for children or sick or elderly relatives of these, over three quarters work some Sundays already and over two-thirds are under pressure to work on Sundays.
  • 41% find it difficult to arrange suitable alternative care whilst they are at work.
Notes for editors:

Usdaw (Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers) is the UK's fourth biggest trade union with nearly 430,000 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.

For Usdaw press releases visit: http://www.usdaw.org.uk/news and you can follow us on Twitter @UsdawUnion

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