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Usdaw condemns government plans to open supermarkets full time on Sundays

SHOPWORKERS’ leaders condemned government plans today to let supermarkets open for 24 hours a day on Sundays as “misguided.”

The government is considering suspending trading laws limiting supermarket Sunday opening times to six hours, in an attempt to boost the economy.

Shopworkers’ union Usdaw said that its members were already working under “huge pressures” due to the coronavirus crisis.

Usdaw general secretary Paddy Lillis said: “Our members in retail are working long hours, in difficult circumstances and under a great deal of pressure, they need a break. 

“It isn’t too much to ask for a shorter day on Sundays. 

“Deregulating trading hours will put more pressure on shopworkers to work longer and cause further problems with finding childcare.”

Limited Sunday opening hours were first introduced in 1994. Prior to that supermarkets had remained closed. 

That decision was opposed by trade unions on the basis that workers needed one full day of rest a week. There was also opposition from some religious organisations.

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