From the Revd Geoffrey Squire
Sir, - As many will have noticed on the Easter Day television
news, a campaign is under way to remove the prohibition on large
stores' and garden centres' opening on Easter Day.
Business bosses were interviewed and customers were interviewed,
but not a single employee or trade-union official was interviewed.
Can one imagine a news item about schools or council offices or
post offices opening every day of the holiday weekend with not a
word from the employees or the trade unions?
Someone did mention that employees would benefit from
double-time payment, but that is rubbish. Most retail employees
receive the basic weekday National Minimum Wage rate or not much
more for Saturday, Sunday, Bank Holiday, and evening working and
they often have no choice whatever about working these anti-social
times. Why does this country treat retail employees (together with
catering workers and adult care workers) with such contempt?
Only two days in the whole year, Christmas Day and Easter Day,
are reliable weekend days-off for all employees in the big stores,
and, apart from other things, theseare very important days for
Christians. So, let us protect those two days from exploitation by
those whose motivation is greed, whether it be the greed of
profit-motivated big business, or the greed of others who would
defend to the last their own long breaks at these times.
Little Cross, Northleigh Hill
Devon EX32 7NR