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Family time at Easter for retail workers safe

Press Release – First Union

Shop workers will be delighted by the defeat in Parliament of yet another bill which would have made it harder for them to spend Easter with their families, the retail workers’ union said today.

Media Release: FIRST Union

Thursday 28 June, 2012

Family time at Easter for retail workers safe

Shop workers will be delighted by the defeat in Parliament of yet another bill which would have made it harder for them to spend Easter with their families, the retail workers’ union said today.

Parliament last night voted down Waitaki MP Jacqui Dean’s bill to open shops on Easter Sunday in the Waitaki Electorate.

The bill lost by 49 votes in favour to 70 votes against on a conscience vote, a much wider margin than the 2007 and 2009 bills from Steve Chadwick and Todd McClay.

New Zealanders can shop on 361 and ½ days a year, and on 51 of 52 Sundays of the year, and most shop workers could be required to work on any of these days, said FIRST Union Retail Secretary Maxine Gay.

“Last night’s vote protects the remaining 3 and ½ days for retail workers to spend some time with their families,” she said.

“Despite Jacqui Dean saying that her bill is about choice and that shops aren’t being forced to open, our retail members say this is not a real choice in practise,” Maxine Gay said.

Added to this, shops in large malls are required to open at all times as part of the mall owners’ lease arrangements, she said.

Maxine Gay said that retail workers would welcome the support from across the political divide to protect the few remaining non-trading days.

“The country doesn’t need Easter Trading, and neither do we see a need for Waitaki exceptionalism. 270,000 retail workers can rest assured that their Easter holiday is safe,” she said.

Ends.

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