Retail workers deliver 18,000 strong petition
Opposition Leader John Robertson has today accepted a petition signed by more than 18,000 people opposing the O'Farrell Government's plan to force retail employees to work on Good Friday, Easter Sunday, Christmas Day, Boxing Day and the morning of Anzac Day.
The petition was presented to Mr Robertson by the 'Take the Time' coalition, which includes the Shop Distributive and Allied Employees Association (SDA), Finance Sector Union, Australian Workers Union, Unions NSW, Uniting Church, Salvation Army, Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney and Newcastle Trades Hall.
"Under the O'Farrell Government's legislation before the parliament, all retailers will be allowed to open on Boxing Day and stores will be allowed to have staff in store and working on Christmas Day, Good Friday, Easter Sunday and the morning of Anzac Day preparing for trade," Mr Robertson said.
"This is a disgraceful attack on retail workers who have every right to spend these special days at home with their families and friends like the rest of us.
"Any retail worker will tell you that it is inevitable that they will be forced to work on Boxing Day or any other public holiday if their employer chooses to open or call staff in to prepare for the sales.
"These changes mean we are getting to the point where Christmas Day, Boxing Day, Good Friday and Easter Sunday mean absolutely nothing."
Shadow Minister for Industrial Relations, Sophie Cotsis said: "There are already 360.5 days retailers can trade in NSW – Christmas Day, Boxing Day, Good Friday, Easter Sunday and a half day on Anzac Day are the only occasions when trade is restricted and that is the way it should remain."
"Public holidays are one of the few times in this very busy day and age when people get time to spend with each other. They are universally recognised as an opportunity for families to come together, have a meal, catch up and spend quality time together.
"The O'Farrell Government should recognise the significance of these special occasions to families and workers right across NSW and shelve this Bill today."
Tags: Industrial relations, John Robertson, public holidays, Sophie Cotsis