Joe Hendren

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Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Chadwick bill on shop trading hours defeated

Good news for workers just in - Steve Chadwick's bill attempting to open shops on Easter Sunday has just been defeated. The vote was 57 in favour and 64 opposed.

Two weeks ago Parliament voted down Jacqui Dean's bill, which would have opened up even more days for trading. Even the Retailers Association admit New Zealand already has some of the most liberalised shop trading hours in the world, yet some greedy shop owners make a big stink over not being able to open for three and a half days a year. Or perhaps I should say three days, as most of these same shopowners are too gutless to stick to their principles and call for open trading on Anzac morning.

The defeat of the two shop trading hours bills is a real win for the New Zealand union movement who successfully campaigned to ensure these bills did not become law.

Chadwick's bill would have pushed the Easter Trading Issue out for local councils to decide.
Today Auckland City councillors signed a letter opposing the bill, as they believed Chadwick was merely passing the buck for regulating trading on Easter Sunday from the Labour Department to local councils. The letter said that as Easter Sunday was one of only 3 1/2 prohibited trading days, those days should be cherished by shop workers, the community and family development advocates and councils should not have to deal with the matter. Big cheer for Auckland City Councillor Cathy Casey for organising the letter!

Waitakere City Councillors made a similar stand against the bill.

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At 10:53 pm, Blogger Kane said...

Good on the National Distribution Union for the campaigning they did around opposing the Dean and Chadwick Bills.

At 12:14 pm, Blogger Uroskin said...

Seeing shops/services open on those days (including the hallowed half day) would upset me less than the surcharges currently being applied by eateries on public holidays without providing 15% better service or 15% better food.

At 1:50 pm, Blogger Joe Hendren said...

The surchanges are much more about making a political statement about having to compensate workers for working on a holiday, than actual business costs. Retailers and shops do a roaring trade on such days - thats why they want to be open, yet they want to pocket the profits of doing so themselves.

The 15% surchanges were introduced as a petty little political campaign against the Holidays Act. One hopes their customers realise who the real villians are.

It is also relevant to point out that had the bill passed workers would not have got time and a half for working on Easter Sunday, as it has never been classified as a holiday. I would not have been at all surprise to see some employers pay ordinary time yet charge their customers 15% extra.


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