The Prime Minister has reneged on his promise to not change Sunday trading laws
Shopworkers' trade union leader
is disappointed that the Prime Minister has today defended a proposal to change Sunday trading rules, after he promised before the election to leave the legislation alone. John Hannett
Responding to the first question in today's Prime Minister's Question Time,
David Cameron confirmed the Government would devolve powers on Sunday trading by amending the Cities and Local Government Devolution Bill.
"Devolving Sunday trading is deregulation by the back door and will create chaos in the retail sector, as every area adopts their own regime. It doesn't provide local authorities with proper powers to influence their retail economy, just a huge headache as a few retailers badger them to allow longer opening.
"For this reason we believe that many retailers and local authorities have responded negatively to the Government consultation, or at least said that these proposals are not what they are looking for from Government. We fear that devolution is a solution looking for a problem.
"I am surprised that the Prime Minister has today committed to legislation. The Government hasn't yet published the consultation responses, over a month after it closed, or provided their own response. They are planning to amend a Bill after it has been through the Lords and after it has started its passage through the Commons. I fear that this controversial measure is not going to have the proper scrutiny it deserves.
"The Sunday Trading Act is a great British 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; whilst Sunday remains a special day, different to other days, and shopworkers can spend some time with their family.
"We are vigorously campaigning against the Government's proposals because our members tell us that they will come under more pressure to work unsocial hours, preventing them from spending valuable time with their family, which is why
91% of shopworkers oppose extended Sunday trading."
Notes for editors:
Usdaw (Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers) is the
's fourth biggest and the fastest growing trade union with nearly UK 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 : https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/devolving-sunday-trading-rules Wales
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