Easter Sunday – it’s quiet. But next year it could be bustling.
Labour leader Andrew Little has expressed favour in allowing shops to trade on the weekend, but he had a few concerns.
“I wouldn’t object to a law that allowed trading on Easter Sunday, providing the right of the worker to genuinely opt-out,” he said.
That’s great. Such a sensible position.
The union movement insists that employers are evil and no matter what the law says, will force employees to work on Easter (ignoring they already work Easter Saturday and Monday).
Little seems to be saying what I advocate – if an employer wishes to open, an employee wishes to earn some extra money and customers wish to shop, then the law should not make that illegal.
The amendment to allow councils to create bylaws and decide for their areas was “wrong in principle”. Little believed the laws should apply nationally.
My preference is for there to be no ban on shops opening nation-wide.
But allowing each Council to decide is preferable to the status quo of a few historic areas being allowed to open, while others can’t.
Ultimately, Little was prepared to run with public sentiment on the issue, as long as Kiwis could decline to work.
“The bottom line is you’ve got to protect the right of workers to genuinely opt-out and not be subject to stigma and pressure.”
The Labour Party would make be making a conscience vote on the legislation, meaning each member would vote individually.
Why not put up an amendment to allow Easter trading nationally, in return for penalties on employers who coerce employees to work?