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Boxing Day trade would take a heavy toll on family and community life of workers

Thousands of retail and warehouse workers across NSW will lose much-needed time with family and friends if NSW government plans to extend retail trading hours go ahead, according to the Shop, Distributive and Allied Employee Association (SDA) NSW Branch.

Minister Mike Baird told the Sydney Morning Herald he was committed to allow all shops to open on Boxing Day.

SDA NSW Branch Secretary Gerard Dwyer said the move to expand retail trade would take thousands of workers away from their families at Christmas.

“Allowing retail trade on Boxing Day would ruin Christmas for families right across NSW,” Mr Dwyer said.

“For many people working in retail, Easter and Christmas are the only times of year when they can have few days in a row of quality family time. Workers deserve the opportunity to enjoy these significant days like the rest of us.

“There are 360.5 days a year open for shopping, more than enough to satisfy even the most ardent shopping enthusiast.

“We can have good post-Christmas sales on December 27 – people will not magically get more money in their wallets on Boxing Day.

“If Boxing Day was deregulated then Christmas, Good Friday, Easter Sunday and Anzac Day (half day) would likely be next on the hit list.

“Retail and warehouse employees would be pressured into filling shifts on these significant cultural and religious days.

“Casuals and young people in particular would fear losing future shifts if they decided not to work on Boxing Day.

“We ask NSW politicians to consider how these changes would affect workers, their families and the community and reject the extension of retail trading hours,” he said.