Scottish Parliament backs Bill to enforce Christmas and New Year breaks for retail workers

Thousands of retail workers are celebrating after the Scottish Parliament backed a Bill to ban large stores opening their doors on Christmas Day in 2007 and New Year’s Day in 2008.

The shop workers, members of the Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers (Usdaw) were supported by Labour MSP Karen Whitefield.

Usdaw, the UK’s fifth biggest trade union with more than 340,000 members, said it would monitor staffing arrangements over the festive season.

The union’s general secretary John Hannett said: “Usdaw members are delighted they now have a legal right to enjoy Christmas dinner with their loved ones having played such a central role in lobbying their MSPs to secure a genuine victory for common sense.

The Scottish Executive has given us a guarantee that if evidence is produced that retail staff are being forced to work on New Year’s Day then they will introduce legislation to stop them opening which is a welcome step forward in protecting shopworkers rights in the incredibly busy festive period.”

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