The meeting of all city councillors accepted the recommendation of the Strategic Policy & Resources Committee not to proceed with designating all or part of Belfast as a tourist destination, which would have allowed shops to open for longer on a Sunday.
Paddy Lillis – Usdaw General Secretary Elect says:
“Our members are delighted that city councillors again rejected extended Sunday trading. We said at the beginning of this campaign that nothing had changed since last year and that proved to be the case.
“We do not believe that revisiting this question so soon has been a useful exercise and we hope that the city council will now view tonight’s decision as a final settlement.
“I would like to thank the Usdaw members, reps and officials who worked hard on this campaign and were crucial to making it a success. We also appreciated the support our members received from the Irish Congress of Trade Unions through their ‘Better Work - Better Lives’ campaign.
“Usdaw ran an evidence based campaign to demonstrate that longer Sunday trading hours are not wanted by the vast majority of shopworkers and would be a threat to the profitability, productivity and viability of many retail business. So we are very pleased that city councillors have listened to those concerns, supported our campaign and recognised the efforts Usdaw has made to illustrate the detrimental effects longer Sunday trading would have on Belfast.
“The current Sunday trading arrangements are a fair 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; while Sunday remains a special day, different to other days, and shopworkers can spend some time with their family.
“Extended Sunday trading has twice been rejected emphatically by city councillors within a year. We are more than happy to work with the city council and all stakeholders in a positive way to help improve the offer Belfast has for visitors, tourists and residents; but we do not expect them to return to the Sunday trading issue again.”
Notes for editors:
Usdaw (Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers)
is the UK's fifth biggest and the fastest growing trade union with around 430,000 members. Membership has increased by more than 28% over the 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 campaign video: https://youtu.be/JMy-CguEM1U
For Usdaw press releases visit: http://www.usdaw.org.uk/news
and you can follow us on Twitter @UsdawUnion