97% shop workers oppose Boxing Day trading – survey

97% shop workers oppose Boxing Day trading - Usdaw survey
Only 4% of retail staff are happy to work on Boxing Day, according to a new survey from workers' union Usdaw
// 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.

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  1. When I used to work in Morrisons many years ago, it was pretty horrible around Christmas time. Long hours in the weeks running up to i, having to do Christmas eve, often being forced to stay late to clean or whatever, then back in at 6am on boxing day where the misery begins again.
    I would recommend to anyone working in supermarkets… try study or something and then get the hell out of there.

  2. Well done Home Bargains, the run up to Xmas is so stressful in retail, nothing but greed from the retail directors & CEO’s. Especially when Head Office only work office hours. So hypocritical!
    I’m well out of it, like the previous comment get your qualifications then u can do better in life.

  3. Having spent my entire working life in retail (50 years+), I totally endorse the sentiments of the retail staff especially those on the front line, all shops should be closed on Christmas Day and Boxing Day and should close by 4pm on Christmas Eve. The greed of some of the large multiples has caused the slow erosion of any meaningful break for shop staff who work very hard in the run up to Christmas and have to deal with an ever increasing amount of verbal and physical abuse from the public, often because they have left it too late to do their shopping and then they blame the staff because what they want is not sitting in the shop waiting for them. This is then followed post Christmas with bad tempered members of the public who have been forced to spend a couple of days with their family and offspring and feel perfectly justified in taking their frustration out on the first shop worker they encounter. Thank God I am now retired.

  4. I toally agree with Michael sntiments, I also worked all my life in retail 45 years at first it was just Christmas Day & Boxing Day, then as Sunday opening came in, it was Sunday then bank Holidays now the greedy stores want to open on Boxing day.
    It should be banned in law.
    I’ll bet the Chief Execs of the big 4 wont be at work.

  5. I work in retail and totally agree with stores being closed on boxing day,like it used to be years ago,totally agree it’s just pure greed

  6. In devizes wiltshire they used to shut shops half a day on a Wednesday and Sunday was always closed and everybody was able to get their shopping done so why do we need to open all the time now when refrigerated foods are even better than they were back in the 1980s

  7. Having worked in retail over 40 years it comes as no surprise to see 97% of retail staff disagree with working Boxing Day. All the previous comments sum it up perfectly. Don’t expect USDAW to do anything about it though they have long lost any clout they ever had with the retail companies. All Sunday. late night and bank holiday supplements have been eroded over the years with little or no fight from the shop workers union. They now focus their energies on surveys we all know the answers to. Merry Christmas

  8. I think everyone should have to work in a customer facing role for a year that way people may be more emphatic. I would go even further. In my opinion shops should close 24, 25, 26, 27 reopen 28, 29, 30 then close until 2nd of jan. I as a customer could easily cope. I have a freezer and would rather spend time with my family than shopping.

    I worked in retail and food for 24 years now I work in cyber security but I love the opportunity to come to a retail workers aid when they are being laid into by ignorant greedy selfish human beings. They can’t fight back.

    • It works both ways. I’ve never worked in a customer facing role and tend to give staff the benefit of the doubt as I think it’s a very tough job. My partner was customer facing for years and has zero tolerance for less than perfect service.


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