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Shopworkers To Report Employers

21st December 2007

Scottish Shopworkers urged to report retailers if they're forced to work on New
Year's Day

Usdaw, the retail union, is urging Scottish shopworkers not to suffer in silence if they are forced to work on New Year's Day.

"This is one of the most important days in the Scottish calendar and I repeat my call to Scottish retailers to respect it," said Usdaw General Secretary, John Hannett. "But I expect that a small minority will open their doors on New Year's Day, which will lead to shopworkers being forced into work instead of being able to spend the day with their family and friends."

Usdaw is urging shopworkers to report instances where their employers have put
pressure on them to work on New Year's Day by confidentially phoning 0141 427 6561 or e-mailing newyearsday[AT] John Hannett continued, "It is important that we gather the evidence from shopworkers who are coerced into working on New Year's Day. We need to ensure that the Scottish Government fully understands the real pressures that staff come under at this time of year.

"We are also particularly worried about the fate of workers in companies that do not recognise trade unions and are defying the convention of closing on New Year's Day".
Usdaw supported the Christmas Day and New Year's Day Trading (Scotland) Act
2007, which was promoted by Labour MSP Karen Whitefield.The Act implements an
immediate ban on large stores trading on Christmas Day and gives the Scottish Government the power to enact the same ban for New Year's Day at anytime they

John Hannett concluded, "Before the recent election the SNP backed the proposal to conduct a research study ahead of enacting a New Year's Day ban. However as soon as they got into power they have done a u-turn and turned their backs on hundreds of thousands of Scottish shopworkers and threatened the special nature of Hogmanay.
"It is a disgraceful betrayal for which they should be thoroughly ashamed".

Karen Whitefield MSP (Labour, Airdrie and Shotts) said, "The Last, Labour led Scottish Executive gave a firm commitment that it would take steps to ensure that no shopworkers were forced to work on New Year's Day. One of the first actions of the SNP Executive was to backtrack on that commitment and effectively tell shopworkers that they were on their own as far as working on New Year's Day is concerned. This was a terrible betrayal of Scottish Shopworkers and an act of hypocrisy on the part of the SNP.

"I would urge any shopworkers who feel that they are being coerced into working on New Year's Day to contact the helpline or use the email address so that Usdaw can raise this matter on their behalf".