John Hannett – Usdaw General Secretary says: “The proposal to devolve Sunday trading to local authorities is a nightmare scenario that will throw the retail sector into chaos. The Government has not produced an Impact Assessment and we believe that is because it would show that retailers will be strangled in red tape as they try to cope with over 300 different regulatory regimes in every local authority.
“Nor have they produced any relevant economic evidence to counter the report from Oxford Economics that showed the move would cost thousands of jobs in retail and lead to the closure of small stores which many local communities rely on.
“We also believe that the vast majority of the 7,000 responses to the Government’s own consultation are opposed to this proposal, but the Government have refused to publish them or even reflect the concerns expressed by shopworkers, retailers, customers, churches and other community groups that want to keep Sunday special.
“Quite frankly the Government has not produced the evidence to support their proposal and they are refusing to - even turning down a Freedom Of Information request from Keep Sunday Special.
“The current Sunday trading rules are a fair 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.”
Notes for editors:
Usdaw (Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers) is the UK's fourth biggest and the fastest growing trade union with over 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://usd.aw/SundaySurveyReport
For Usdaw press releases visit: http://www.usdaw.org.uk/news and you can follow us on Twitter @UsdawUnion