// Usdaw urges retailers to close their stores on Boxing Day to give workers a decent break this Christmas
// Usdaw boss Paddy Lillis has written to retail bosses recommending this
// Follows announcements by M&S, Pets at Home and Wickes that they will close on Boxing Day
Major retailers are being urged to close their stores on Boxing Day to give workers a decent break this Christmas.
The shopworkers’ union Usdaw has written to retail bosses pointing out how hard store staff have been working this year as a result of the coronavirus crisis.
The move followed an announcements by Marks & Spencer, Pets at Home and Wickes that they will keep all of their stores closed on Boxing Day this year.
- Pets at Home and Wickes join M&S in closing stores on Boxing Day
- M&S reverses decision to keep stores open on Boxing Day
“With the country facing a crisis unlike any in our lifetime, retail and distribution workers have stepped up and kept food on all of our tables,” Usdaw general secretary Paddy Lillis said in the letter.
“The extraordinary response of essential retailers to the crisis has been rightly praised, and that response is down to the hard work and efforts of shopworkers on the front line.
“When others stay safe at home, they go out to work. They have faced increased levels of violence and abuse, as well as huge worries about their health and that of their families.”
Lillis said the easing of restrictions on households meeting for a short period over Christmas would be “little comfort” to retail workers, with many feeling under pressure to work on Boxing Day, even where it is supposed to be voluntary.
“The only way they will be guaranteed a decent break at Christmas is if food retailers close for Boxing Day,” he said.
“For key workers, who have done so much this year, asking for shops to close on Boxing Day, so that they can have some quality time with their families, is really not too much to ask for. 2020 has been a year like no other, so let’s ensure that retail workers get a decent break at Christmas.”
with PA Wires