Tell our MPs to save Boxing Day

We’ve got good news and bad news.

The bad news:

The NSW Treasurer is going to introduce legislation allowing stores to open on Boxing Day. That would mean that workers across the state would miss out on spending Boxing Day with their family and friends.

The good news:

We can stop it. If we get enough MPs on board, the legislation won’t be able to pass.

Will you help us convince our parliamentarians to protect Christmas? Simply co-sign this letter, then once we have enough signatures, we’ll send it to our MPs – and we might even print it in the newspaper.

Will you help us save Boxing Day? Co-sign the letter below, and ask your friends to do the same. We need to show our MPs that the community doesn’t want to see workers forced to work on December 26th.

[if you don’t want your name to appear among the thousands of signatures, make sure you check the box below]

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Dear NSW Parliamentarians.

Will you help ensure retail workers across the state can spend Christmas with their families this year?

For the past two years, NSW has trialed opening stores on Boxing Day, before that most shops were closed. In the last two years thousands of retail workers have missed out on celebrating the festive period with their families and friends.

Getting together on Boxing Day is a great Australian tradition – it’s a time to play backyard cricket, head to the beach and share a BBQ snag with family and friends.

View more of the letter

It’s time to travel to see loved ones, or it’s time to see both sides of your family. It shouldn’t be a day when workers are forced to work behind cash registers and stock shelves.

That belief is backed up by the evidence in the report looking at the past two years of trailed retail trading on Boxing Day in NSW. If you read the report’s recommendations alone, you could be forgiven for thinking that the trial was a success. The truth is in the body of the report, and it shows that the trial was far from successful.

The findings in the report included:

  • A decrease in sales growth: retail sales growth in December dropped in the two years since Boxing Day trading was allowed compared to the previous two years when shops were closed;
  • Pressure on workers: 30-40 per cent of retail workers felt pressured to work on Boxing Day. 1 in 5 retail workers felt coerced to work against their will;
  • Ramifications for workers: 1 in 10 retail workers who said they didn't want to work on Boxing Day suffered negative consequences from their employer;
  • Confusion among retailers: Half of retailers didn't even know their workers had the right to have the day off;
  • Most retailers don’t want it: only 41% of retailers support shops opening on Boxing Day;
  • No support for workers: the NSW Government has taken over six months to follow up workers’ complaints of being forced to work, and has still not taken any action.

We know that the NSW Treasurer plans to introduce legislation to allow stores to open on the 26th of December every year, but you, as representatives of our community, have the ability – and responsibility - to make sure that proposed legislation doesn’t pass.

The Christmas celebrations of thousands of workers and their families across NSW rest in your hands. There’s no evidence to suggest that opening stores on Boxing Day is important for the economy, but there is overwhelming evidence to show that it’s bad for workers.

Shops can open 360 ½ days a year, but Christmas only comes around once. Please put the needs of families first and stop the push to open stores on Boxing Day. After all, Christmas isn’t Christmas without Boxing Day.

Kind regards,
Bernie Smith
Branch Secretary, SDA
– the union for retail workers

Barbara Nebart,
Newcastle and Northern Secretary, SDA
- the union for retail workers

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