Usdaw urges Boxing Day closures for shopworkers

Shopworkers’ trade union, Usdaw, has welcomed the decision by supermarkets to keep their doors closed on Boxing Day this year. 

This comes after the union’s “Christmas is not working” campaign, which has called for the longest possible break for staff over the festive period to give them a “well-deserved” breather. 

According to Usdaw, 97% of shopworkers want stores to shut on 26 December as they “arrive home shattered” after working late on Christmas Eve and return early on Boxing Day. 

READ MORE: Tesco reopens talks with Usdaw after industrial plans

Currently, Asda, M&S, Aldi and Waitrose have announced Boxing Day closures to give all their staff time off. 

“Usdaw welcomes the many retailers who this year have decided not to open on Sunday 26 December, we hope this is the beginning of a permanent move away from Boxing Day trading and we urge others to follow suit,” Usdaw general secretary Paddy Lillis said. 

“Shops can open for 150 hours a week in the run-up to Christmas and beyond, and many do, so we think a two-day break for staff is not unreasonable. Retailers do not need to open on Boxing Day.” 

Earlier this month, Organise asked members to send emails to supermarket chief executives and sign a petition addressed to Boris Johnson – to urge leaders to shut stores on Boxing Day. 

Despite pressure, Tesco, Morrisons and Co-op will remain open on 26 December and Sainsbury’s has reintroduced Boxing Day shifts even after being promised it off in September. 

Lillis added: “For those retailers who have decided to open, we strongly urge them to only staff the store with genuine volunteers.” 

“We also say to customers, if you must shop on Boxing Day, please treat the staff with respect and understand they most likely would rather be spending time with their loved ones.”

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