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Easter Trading Bill: Government gives working people the middle finger

Date of Release: 
Monday, September 5, 2016

The union representing working people in the retail industry is condemning the Government for whipping its MPs to pass the controversial Shop Trading Hours Amendment Bill.

The Bill passed 62-59 as union officials and former heavyweight boxer David Tua looked on. The Bill’s passage came after a 5000-strong petition to Peter Dunne asking him to vote against the Bill, a 10,000-strong leaflet drop in his Ohariu electorate, an admission that Deputy Prime Minister Bill English opposes reform and opposition from a group of former All Blacks.

“New Zealanders are only guaranteed three and a half days off each year. We should be protecting the days we set aside for family and community, not handing local authorities the power to make Easter Sunday a working day for people in retail,” said FIRST Union General Secretary Robert Reid.

“Two grandparents who are part of our union and work in retail on weekends, the busiest period in retail, tell us that they rely on Easter Sunday as a day off with their grandchildren. But this law could change all of that.”

“The Government is promising working people in retail the right to refuse work on Easter Sunday, but it’s a hollow promise. We know from years and years of experience that there are consequences for saying no, like a boss reducing a person’s hours,” explained Reid.

“The Government’s law solves nothing. Instead there will be further inconsistencies as local authorities apply different policies up and down the country.”

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