MEDIA RELEASE: Newcastle MP vows to ruin Christmas for Newcastle

Mar 2 2015

Opening Newcastle 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 said Liberal candidate Karen Howard’s confirmation today that her government would move to change the Retail Trading Act to allow stores to open on 26 December if re-elected, is an attack on workers’ right to spend Christmas with their families.

“The NSW Liberal party has today confirmed that it wants to rob Newcastle 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.

“An Ernst & Young report released recently shows that to increase trading hours by 3 to 4 per cent, we’d have to open doors for an extra ten days a year. That’s 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.

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

“It appears Karen Howard wants to go down as the person who ruined Christmas in Newcastle.

“What better way to kill off the spirit of Christmas than to open shop doors and take thousands of workers away from their families to stock shelves and sell cheap toasters?

“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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