Thursday, March 08, 2007

Scottish Christmas Day and Ne'er Day

Well done to Karen Whitefield MSP and her Labour colleagures for delivering a ban on Christmas Day trading north of the border.

This valuable protection for shopworkers, is coupled with a sanctions on retailers who force staff in to work on New Year's Day.
Ministers made it clear that they would immediately bring in a ban on New Year's Day trading if they found evidence that shopworkers were being coerced into work on this very special day.

“Usdaw members are delighted they now have a legal right to enjoy Christmas dinner with their loved ones having played such a central role in lobbying their MSPs to secure a genuine victory for common sense,” says Usdaw General Secretary John Hannett. “Our members told us loud and clear that they needed guaranteed time off with their families in what is already the most deregulated shopping environment in Europe.

“Usdaw’s policy is that we remain totally opposed to big stores opening their doors on New Year’s Day. Our view remains that there is no evidence whatsoever that stores opening on that day will have a negative impact on the Scottish economy and 95% of our members say it will ruin their traditional Hogmanay and New Year’s Day celebrations.

“The Scottish Executive has given us a guarantee that if evidence is produced that retail staff are being forced to work on New Year’s Day then they will introduce legislation to stop them opening which is a welcome step forward in protecting shopworkers rights in the incredibly busy festive period.

“But we are making it clear that Usdaw members will be on hand to report employers who coerce their employees to work on New Year’s Day and based on that evidence we would expect legalisation to be introduced to protect hard working shop staff who are only demanding a proper work-life balance.”

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