NSW Treasurer attempts to rob NSW families of Christmas

Oct 14 2015

The NSW Treasurer has launched an attack on Christmas in NSW, today suggesting she will introduce legislation to open stores on Boxing Day and take workers away from their families over the festive period.

Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees’ Association NSW Secretary, Bernie Smith said opening stores on Boxing Day will serve no purpose other than to rob workers of valuable family time.

“The Treasurer is attempting to make this look like a win for the people of NSW, but in actual fact nothing could be further from the truth. All this is going to do is rob thousands of NSW families of their Christmas together,” Mr Smith said.

“Gladys Berejiklian clearly wants to go down as the Grinch who stole Christmas.

“The Treasurer’s rhetoric of fairness for business ignores fairness for families at Christmas time.

“Opening stores on Boxing Day will not have any economic benefit at all, but it will strip thousands of workers and their families of vital, and increasingly rare, time together over the festive season.

“The economic argument the Treasurer is basing her decision on is outdated and discredited. Claims of extra economic activity don’t add up. In fact an independent report has shown no extra economic activity is generated by extending trade to one of the few family days that retail workers have left.

“People are not suddenly gifted extra cash to spend in stores on December 26th. All it does is spread the same amount of money that people have to spend across the month.

“NSW currently has the best performing retail industry in Australia under our current laws. So why punish these hard working shop assistants of NSW by taking away their precious family time?

“The Treasurer’s policy will have little to no impact on businesses’ bottom line, but it will have a huge negative impact on many families who will now be forced to spend the festive season apart.

“The Treasurer’s argument that workers won’t be forced to go into stores on Boxing Day if they don’t want fails to recognise the reality of the industry. Of course workers will feel forced to give up their increasingly rare family time to head into work. And it’s not just Boxing Day, the Treasurer’s plan will force workers to be in stores on Christmas Day preparing for sales on Boxing Day.

“Our stores are already open 360 ½ days a year. It’s time the Treasurer stopped bowing to the pressure of some of the retailer lobby groups and started listening to the needs of the community.”

Stand up for retail workers and any further erosion of their precious family time.
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