Andrew Gwynne, MP for Denton and Reddish, attended a lobby of Parliament organised by the Keep Sunday Special coalition to oppose the Government’s proposal to devolve Sunday trading regulations.
Members of shopworkers union Usdaw and convenience store owners met with MPs to explain how extended opening in large stores will reduce trade for small stores and lead to even more retail staff in large stores being pressured to work longer hours on Sundays.
Andrew Gwynne MP says:
“The Sunday Trading Act is a great British compromise, which gives everyone a little bit of what they want. Retailers can trade, customers can shop, staff can work; whilst Sunday remains a special day, different to other days, and shopworkers can spend some time with their family.
“I am convinced that shops are currently open long enough for people to do their shopping and that Sunday should remain a special day, different to any other. I oppose devolving Sunday trading because it will lead to longer opening hours.
“Extending Sunday trading does not mean customers have more money to spend, it would not create jobs and could lead to the closure of smaller stores. So this is not a way to boost the local economy or help town centres. It would be detrimental to shopworkers and their families, as well as wider society, so I am pleased to be supporting the Keep Sunday Special campaign.”
John Hannett – Usdaw General Secretary – says:
“Usdaw and our members are delighted to have Andrew’s support and many others who value the special nature of Sunday and want to protect it. There is no great desire from shopworkers, customers or retailers for these changes and many oppose them.
“The Government are pushing through these changes in the final stages of a Bill which will be voted on next week, but without having published any up to date economic evidence to support their case, any impact assessment or a family test to weigh up the effect on the families of shopworkers, who already work long hours at weekends.
“We are therefore calling on all MPs to oppose this ill-thought-out measure and for the Government to concentrate on supporting retail businesses and their staff.”