Sydney workers call on Mike Baird to rethink ruining Christmas; welcome Opposition commitment to protecting important holidays

Mar 12 2015

Hundreds of retail, warehouse and fast-food workers met today to call on the Baird Government to reverse its decision to rob workers of Christmas.

The Baird Government recently announced that if elected, they would remove trading restrictions that currently keep most shops closed on the 26th December.

Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees’ Association NSW Secretary, Bernie Smith, said today the workers received confirmation from Opposition Leader Luke Foley that if elected Labor will protect key days like Boxing Day and Easter Sunday.

“Our members have welcomed Mr Foley’s announcement today and have called on Mr Baird to rethink his decision to attack our right to spend Christmas with our families,” Mr Smith said.

“Thousands of workers know that if Mike Baird gets his way, they’ll be waving goodbye to their family on Boxing Day.”

Mr Smith said that Mr Baird’s claim that working on Boxing Day will be voluntary shows a complete lack of understanding of how the industry works.

“Mr Baird needs a reality check. Anyone who has anything to do with the retail industry knows that workers, particularly casual workers, don’t actually have a lot of choice as to whether they work on public holidays if they want more shifts. Legally they should, but the reality is very different.

“The Premier keeps talking about levelling the playing field and the economic benefit of robbing workers of Easter. The truth is that all the research indicates that there will be no economic benefit at all. People have a finite amount of money to spend – it doesn’t simply expand because they have an additional day to shop. There will be a real social cost to families, but no economic benefit.”

“This is a key issue for the workers of Sydney. Before we go to the polls, we want to know that the person we’re electing is serious about standing up for our rights.”

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