Local MPs must fight plans to rob NSW of Christmas

Jul 16 2015

13 July, 2015: Opening stores on Boxing Day will serve no purpose other than to rob workers of valuable family time, workers say.

Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees’ Association Newcastle Secretary Barbara Nebart today called on local MPs to fight the Premier’s push to change the Retail Trading Act to allow stores to open on 26 December, saying the move is an attack on workers’ right to spend Christmas with their families.

“It’s critical our MPs listen to the community and fight these plans to rob families of Christmas,” Ms Nebart said.

“Opening stores on Boxing Day will not have any economic benefit at all, but it will strip thousands of workers and their families of vital, and increasingly rare, time together over the festive season.

“There is no real economic benefit. An Ernst & Young report released not long ago claims economic benefits if you increase trading hours by 3 to 4 per cent. That’s an extra ten days a year. We’d have to open doors for an extra ten days a year. That means shops would have to be open 370 days out of every 365 – there are simply no extra dollars, or days, to squeeze out.

“People are not suddenly gifted extra cash to spend in stores on December 26th. All it does is spread the same amount of money that people have to spend across the month.

“We’re calling on all of our local MPs to listen to the needs of the local community and to push back against the Premier’s attempt to rob local families of important time together.

“The Premier’s unpopular policy will have little to no impact on businesses’ bottom line, but it will have a huge negative impact on many families who will now be forced to spend the festive season apart.

“The Premier’s argument that workers won’t be forced to go into stores on Boxing Day if they don’t want fails to recognise the reality of the industry. Of course workers will feel forced to give up their increasingly rare family time to head into work.

“It appears Premier Baird wants to be remembered as the person who ruined Christmas.

“Christmas just isn’t Christmas without Boxing Day.

 

Stand up for retail workers and any further erosion of their precious family time.
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