// Usdaw survey shows 97% of shop workers oppose Boxing Day trading
// In addition, 98% want stores to close early on Christmas Eve
// Usdaw surveyed over 12,000 shop workers
An overwhelming majority of shop floor staff believe stores should be closed on Boxing Day so they could enjoy a decent break over the festive season.
According to a new survey of more than 12,000 shop workers, conducted by workers’ union Usdaw, 97 per cent responded in opposition of Boxing Day trading.
It also found that only four per cent of retail staff were happy to work on Boxing Day.
Meanwhile, 98 per cent of the shop workers surveyed said they wanted stores to close early on Christmas Eve.
“The trend of more stores opening for longer over the festive period inevitably has a big impact on shop workers Christmas Day celebrations,” Usdaw general secretary Paddy Lillis said.
“Finishing late on Christmas Eve and then getting straight back to work on Boxing Day means that Christmas Day is not a proper break.
“Staff in retail work very long hours in the run-up to Christmas and it can be really stressful.
“We know that issues of violence, threats and abuse also increase over the festive period.
“Our members tell us that they need time off to recuperate as well as to spend time with their family and friends.
“That is particularly important when they have children for whom Christmas is such a special time.”
Another issue highlighted in the survey is the lack of public transport after 8pm during this period of the festive season, especially for shop workers that rely on it to get home.
Lillis said the union welcomed the decision from Home Bargains to not open on Boxing Day, and urge other retailers to follow suit.
“Retailers don’t need to open on Boxing Day and nobody needs to shop on Boxing Day, especially with the Christmas sales now happening throughout December,” he said.
As well as Boxing Day, Usdaw is calling for shops to be closed on New Year’s Day and for stores to close by 4pm on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve.
The union said that of the total 12,036 members that took part in its survey, 85 per cent worked in retail stores, seven per cent in retail distribution and seven in other workplaces.