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Families before commerce at Easter

Families before commerce at Easter

The retail workers’ union has hit back at critics of New Zealand's modest Easter trading restrictions.

"Some things are more important than going to the mall, and for just three and a half days each year we put community and family time before commerce, as the nation's 270,000 strong retail workforce have guaranteed time off," FIRST Union Retail Secretary Maxine Gay said.

New Zealand’s shopping laws are already among the most deregulated in the world, and there is no reason to make that situation worse, she said.

“New Zealanders can shop on 361 and a half days a year. We can shop on 51 of 52 Sundays of the year.”

“Easter is one of the few guaranteed times that retail workers can have off."

“Despite suggestions that this issue is simply about choice and that shops aren’t being forced to open, our retail members say this is not a real choice in practise. Shops in large malls are required to open at all times as part of the mall owners’ lease arrangements, and if their store opens, pressure will come on retail staff to work.”

"Retail workers work long hours for low pay already and have precious little time with their families.”

“Opening shops on Good Friday or Easter Sunday would make the situation even worse, but for what purpose? The rest of us have plenty of opportunities to go shopping on nearly every other day of the year."

Maxine Gay said that the days off were important ones to retail workers, regardless of their personal faith views.

"For some retail workers, Easter is an important time to take part in religious observance. For others, it is a time to be a part of family and community activities.”

“For every retail worker though, it is precious time off to spend with people close to them," she said.

Ends.

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Saturday 20 September, is election day, and New Zealanders’ last chance to have a say on who leads the country for the next three years.

“The people and parties we elect tomorrow will be making the decisions that affect us, our families and our communities,” says Robert Peden, Chief Electoral Officer. “It doesn’t get much more important than that, and we need all New Zealanders to use their voice and vote.”

Voting places will be open from 9.00am until 7.00pm on election day. The busiest time at voting places is usually 9.00am - 11.00am.

“Take your EasyVote card with you when you go to vote, as it will make voting faster and easier, and vote close to home if you can. But don’t worry if you forget your card, or didn’t receive one, because as long as you are enrolled to vote, your voice will be heard,” says Mr Peden. More>>

 

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