Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/1091/30921

From The Socialist newspaper, 17 June 2020

Resist relaxation of Sunday trading laws - retail workers need a break too!

  (Click to enlarge)

Iain Dalton, Usdaw Broad Left chair

Since rumours emerged in the media about the government considering a one-year relaxation of Sunday trading regulations (which currently mean shops above 3,000 square feet can only open for six hours between 10am and 6pm on a Sunday), the leadership of retail workers' union Usdaw has finally started moving into action, with press releases denouncing the move and a tool to e-mail your local MP.

Throughout the Covid-19 crisis, it has been obvious this could be a target, with several councils relaxing enforcement of Sunday trading regulations, including Labour-controlled councils like Wakefield. There has been a concerted campaign among backbench MPs to relax Sunday Trading laws - predominantly Tory - but also including some Labour too!

But the most serious was the deliberate flouting of the regulations by the UK's fourth biggest retailer, Morrisons, where Usdaw is the recognised union.

Just days before the rumours of the year-long relaxation, Usdaw members received the latest issue of Usdaw's all-members Arena magazine, quoting general secretary Paddy Lillis saying "we are not going to pursue this", referring to these attacks on the legislation.

Now time must be urgently made up. We welcome the changed stance of the union since this in proactively fighting. But Usdaw needs to go further in mobilising its membership to fight these proposals.

An important way to do this during lockdown conditions would be to hold an online rally of members, as Usdaw's sister union, Mandate, did in support of Debenhams workers in Ireland. This could begin to galvanise union members for the fight ahead.

Socialist Party members in Usdaw have launched an online petition against this threat - please sign and share it. Search 'No to extending Sunday trading in retail - retail workers deserve a break' at change.org


Amy Murphy, Usdaw president (personal capacity) says:

Sunday trading has been, and continues to be a contentious topic, with the government's last attempt falling flat when David Cameron was forced to scrap a vote on plans to relax Sunday trading laws in 2015.

In the run up to the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, Sunday Trading Laws were suspended during July, August and September.

At the time, the government insisted this was a one-off and not a prelude to a permanent change. Really, I ask myself. Then how come the temporary relaxation of Sunday Trading Laws is once again being talked about?

Supporting our key workers on the frontline during this pandemic is crucial. But let's not forget the other key workers in the mix. I am referring to shop workers of which I am one.

As well as helping key workers, the other reason mentioned is this relaxation will be really important for the recovery phase for retailers when they get up and running again. This poses the question how long is a bit of string, and when does temporary become the norm?

Let's not forget that shop workers have families, and the Sunday Trading Laws are very important in society as they allow families to spend quality time together, and also rest time. Any relaxation will put more pressure on employees. All it does is favour big businesses and stop employees spending time with their families.

People only have the same amount of money to spend, so although the Sunday spend may go up, it will just come from elsewhere in the week. There is also the added risk that customer demand will be displaced from small stores to large stores, as happened during the Olympics, with convenience stores losing sales threatening jobs on the high street.

Most of the big retailers have already put in measures to allow frontline key workers and those who are vulnerable to have extra access to do their shopping.

Relaxing the Sunday Trading Laws is not the answer. The only beneficiaries would be big businesses. Let's put our workers first and do the right thing by them, while supporting the frontline workers at the same time.

Donate to the Socialist Party

Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our special coronavirus appeal.

Please donate here.

All payments are made through a secure server.

My donation

 

Your message: 

 


In The Socialist 17 June 2020:


What we think

Which way forward for Black Lives Matter protests?

Oppose racist symbols and the racist system


News

Capitalism = inequality. Fight for socialism!

Black Lives Matter: more youth protests take aim at capitalism

Contact tracing fiasco: You can't believe a word the government tells us


Youth

Youth without a future: fight for jobs and homes - fight for socialism!


Workplace news

Resist relaxation of Sunday trading laws

Debenham's protests: Workers must not pay price of Covid-19

Battle with BT management needed to win real pay rise


Schools

Tories retreat on free school meals

Parents' protests against Welsh schools reopening

Cumbria: Teachers, parents and socialists fight reckless school reopening


Reviews

Tears and anger over the treatment of the Windrush generation

Film: Da 5 Bloods - entertaining but politically constrained


Campaigns and party news

Why we joined the Socialist Party

20 days. One town. Four domestic violence murders.

Fight for a socialist future!


Lessons from history

Reform or revolt? How was the slave trade abolished?


Scotland

Scotland and coronavirus - a catalogue of government failure


Readers' opinion

Three years on: No justice for Grenfell, no peace from BLM

Two-metre rule under 'review' - Another case of profit before safety

The Socialist inbox


 

Home   |   The Socialist 17 June 2020   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook






Related links:

Sunday trading:

triangleSunday trading: Government blinks first

triangleTrading extension defeated

Workers:

triangleSocialist Party & Unison NEC member Hugo Pierre (centre), alongside others, taking part in the 8 August health workers' protests for a 15% pay increase. Photo Sarah SE

triangleCuba: Covid-19 and the 60-year-old embargo

triangleOppose BT site closures - national strike ballot needed

triangleCampaign stalls on jobs, pay, NHS and racism

Retail:

triangleContinue the fight to protect safety

triangleMandatory masks in shops law

triangleDebenham's protests: Workers must not pay price of Covid-19

Usdaw:

triangleDebenhams: Fighting closures and redundancies

triangleWorkers need a 'new deal' - at least 12 an hour now!

Union:

triangleEngage for Change Hull - trade union youth festival goes online

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

5/8/20

NHS

'First you clap us then you slap us'

5/8/20

Young Socialists

Young Socialist day of action

5/8/20

Socialist Party

Campaign stalls on jobs, pay, NHS and racism

5/8/20

Black Lives Matter

North London: Socialist Party speaks at BLM protest

5/8/20

Hull

Engage for Change Hull - trade union youth festival goes online

5/8/20

Socialist Party

Why I joined - Covid changed my outlook

5/8/20

Socialist Party

Socialist Party meetings: Online and in-person

5/8/20

Young Socialists

A-level results day 2020: Fight for our future!

5/8/20

Caerphilly

GE Aviation workers march to save jobs

5/8/20

Trotsky

80 years since the murder of Leon Trotsky rally

5/8/20

BAME

Fighting to end racism and capitalism

5/8/20

Doncaster

Doncaster: Vigil for murdered women

5/8/20

The Socialist

The Socialist summer schedule

5/8/20

Unite

Unite union branch pledges to support socialist candidates who oppose cuts

5/8/20

BT

Oppose BT site closures - national strike ballot needed

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 079 8202 1969

East Mids: 077 3797 8057

London: 075 4018 9052

North East: 078 4114 4890

North West 079 5437 6096

South West: 077 5979 6478

Southern: 078 3368 1910

Wales: 079 3539 1947

West Mids: 024 7655 5620

Yorkshire: 077 0671 0041

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


August 2020

July 2020

June 2020

May 2020

April 2020

March 2020

February 2020

January 2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999