13 November 2017
“Protect family time,” Dunedin workers tell council
Union members and everyday Dunedin folk are preparing to gather outside the Dunedin Council Chambers at 9.15am today as the Easter trading debate goes to a council submissions hearing.
FIRST Union, the union representing Dunedin’s retail workers, will be speaking to its submission opposing Easter Sunday Trading.
Retail workers themselves, other worker organisations, church representatives and members of the public will also be speaking in opposition.
The demonstrators will be outside the Council Chambers calling on arriving councillors to put family time ahead of consumerism.
“Retail workers are only guaranteed three and a half days off work each year – Christmas Day, Good Friday, Easter Sunday and part of ANZAC Day. Unlike other workers, retail workers often work public holidays,” said Paul Watson, FIRST Union’s Southern Region Secretary.
“Easter Sunday is one of the few days they can count on as a day off. People get 361 and half days each year to shop, do we really need to add another day?”
The debate comes after the government passed its Shop Trading Hours Amendment Act in 2016 handing local authorities the power to allow shop trading on Easter Sunday in their council area.