Jack Dromey, Member of Parliament for Birmingham Erdington and Chair of the West Midlands Group of Labour MPs said:
“Shopworkers across the West Midlands have kept the shelves stacked and the country going during Coronavirus. We owe them an enormous debt.
“After their hard work it is simply wrong to force them to work longer hours and miss out on valuable time with their loved ones at the weekend. As Usdaw, the shopworkers union, has said, ‘shop workers need a break…not longer opening hours’.
“The government’s plans would also impact the high street too. Our struggling high streets in the West Midlands do not need yet further competition from big supermarkets when it is small shops who have been most affected by the coronavirus lockdown.
“As Chair of the West Midlands Group of Labour MPs, we fully support Usdaw’s call for the Government to reject extending Sunday trading hours and instead support our high streets and town centres through the desperate and uncertain times ahead.”
Gavin Dadley – Usdaw’s Midlands Divisional Officer says:
“We welcome the support of Jack Dromey and all the West Midlands Labour MPs. Our West Midlands members remain overwhelmingly opposed to longer Sunday trading hours and they appreciate that their views are heard by our parliamentary representatives.
“This move to deregulate Sunday trading hours appears to be an opportunistic use of the Coronavirus crisis and a slap in the face for each and every worker in retail and the food supply chain. The Government should instead ensure these low-paid key workers are valued and receive the pay and job security they deserve.
“Usdaw has long been calling for a Government strategy to support the retail sector, yet the Government has instead on a number of occasions started a debate over Sunday opening hours. Each time, we have shown that there is no credible economic case in favour of deregulating Sunday trading, because the fact remains that opening stores for longer does not mean customers have more money to spend. That’s why the majority of retailers do not support deregulating Sunday trading, which would not provide any real help to the retail sector as it looks to how to recover from the crisis.
“The current regulations are a great compromise that has worked well for over 25 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 fifth biggest trade union with over 400,000 members. Membership has increased by more than one-third over the last couple of decades. Most Usdaw members work in the retail sector, but the union also has many members in transport, distribution, food manufacturing, chemicals and other trades.
For Usdaw press releases visit: http://www.usdaw.org.uk/news
and you can follow us on Twitter @UsdawUnion