Thursday, 22 October 2015

Fwd: Usdaw Press Release: The Prime Minister has reneged on his promise to not change Sunday trading laws

21 October 2015

The Prime Minister has reneged on his promise to not change Sunday trading laws
Shopworkers' trade union leader John Hannett 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.
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.
John Hannett – Usdaw General Secretary says: "I am particularly disappointed that the Prime Minister has gone back on a promise not to change Sunday trading legislation, which he made in a letter before the election. The current proposals did not appear in the Conservative manifesto either.
"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 UK's fourth biggest and the fastest growing trade union with nearly 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.
The BIS Consultation closed on 16 September and applies to England and Wales:
For further information please contact Usdaw's Media Officer, David Williams on: 0161 249 2469, 07798 696 603 or by e-mail to
For Usdaw press releases visit: and you can follow us on Twitter @UsdawUnion
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Media & Communications DeptUsdaw, 188 Wilmslow Road, Manchester M14 6LJ
Tel:     0161 224 2804  |  Fax:    0161 248 8588
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