Convenience store customer

Usdaw is opposed to changes to Sunday trading laws

Shopworkers union Usdaw has come out fighting against the latest attempts to force through a relaxation in Sunday trading laws.

Speaking at its annual conference in Blackpool this week, Usdaw general secretary John Hannett said the government had looked at the issue three times since the last general election and on each occasion it had demonstrated that it was right to keep the law as it is.

“We know that the deregulators will never take no for an answer and they will continue to push for an end to Sunday trading protections,” he claimed.

“The existing law provides a fair and balanced compromise between competing views. They allow our members a little time every week to spend with their family and ensure that Sunday remains a different day to every other.

“More and more retailers have recognised that opening for longer simply won’t increase revenue or profits and that customers simply don’t have the means to spend more.”

Hannett added that Usdaw was “ready to defend the regulations with evidence-based arguments and the overwhelming support of our members.”

Conservative MP Philip Davies is looking to table amendments pushing for relaxation to the Deregulation Bill currently going through parliament. Further pressure for relaxation is also coming from new lobby group Open Sundays. Director Mark Allatt said Hannett was “denying people the right to shop when they want.”

“Usdaw needs to get back in touch with the way people live their lives today and recognise that the right to work and shop is as valid as ­having the choice not to,” he added.