An Usdaw survey of over 12,000 shopworkers found that:
Paddy Lillis – Usdaw General Secretary says:
- 97% think shops should be closed on Boxing Day.
- 98% want stores to close early on Christmas Eve.
- Only 4% of retail staff are happy to work on Boxing Day.
“The trend of more stores opening for longer over the festive period inevitably has a big impact on shopworkers Christmas Day celebrations. Finishing late on Christmas Eve and then getting straight back to work on Boxing Day means that Christmas Day is not a proper break.
“Staff in retail work very long hours in the run-up to Christmas and it can be really stressful. We know that issues of violence, threats and abuse also increase over the festive period. Our members tell us that they need time off to recuperate as well as to spend time with their family and friends. That is particularly important when they have children for whom Christmas is such a special time.
“So Usdaw welcomes retailers like Home Bargains deciding not open on Boxing Day and we urge others to follow suit. Retailers don’t need to open on Boxing Day and nobody needs to shop on Boxing Day, especially with the Christmas sales now happening throughout December.”
Christmas messages from shopworkers:
These are some of the comments Usdaw members wrote when completing Usdaw’s Boxing Day survey:
Notes for editors:
Usdaw (Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers)
- “I haven’t enjoyed Christmas since starting to work in retail 11 years ago.”
- “Absolutely shattered, then have to organise dinner, don’t need the stress, can’t cope, no Christmas.”
- The children are all excited, you get them ready Christmas Eve and then tell them you’re going to work. Heart breaking!”
- I rely on public transport, which finishes at 8pm. I finish two hours later. Taxis are double fare and impossible to get.”
is the UK's fifth biggest and the fastest growing trade union with over 410,000 members. Membership has increased by more than one-third over the last couple of decades. 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 won the campaign for legislation to stop large stores opening on Christmas Day and we are calling for small stores to follow suit and stay shut. We are also calling for shops to be closed on Boxing Day and New Year’s Day; as well as closing by 4pm on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve.
Usdaw’s Boxing Day Survey:
12,036 Usdaw members, from across the UK, responded to an online Usdaw survey after Boxing Day 2018. 85% worked in retail store, 7% in retail distribution and 7% in other workplaces. 41% had worked on Boxing Day 2018, 39% in 2017 and 55% in previous years.
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