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Restrictions on shops’ opening on Easter Day

by
02 May 2014

iStock

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.

GEOFFREY SQUIRE
Little Cross, Northleigh Hill
Goodleigh, Barnstaple
Devon EX32 7NR

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