Meeting with PM, "Useful"
Secretary John Hannett this week met Tony Blair to ensure that the
views and experience of shopworkers and their families are taken
into account when the government makes a decision whether or not to
extend Sunday opening hours.
The Prime Minister pledged to meet John Hannett to hear the union's
case against extending the 6 hour limit on large stores opening on
Sundays in a speech to delegates at Usdaw's annual conference in
Blackpool. This meeting allowed John Hannett to outline the
key arguments in the union's Save Our Sundays campaign. Usdaw has
surveyed the views and experience of over 4,000 retail staff and the
responses give overwhelming evidence of shopworkers forced to work
on Sundays against their will and to the detriment of their family
"I was pleased Tony Blair had agreed to meet me to discuss
this vital issue that affects most of our 340,000 members,"
John Hannett said. "It was a very useful meeting where I
outlined our evidence and the Prime Minster listened to our well
researched case against extending Sunday shopping hours. I
wanted to make sure the Prime Minister was aware that 94% of our
members are strongly opposed to any extension of Sunday trading
hours. 64% of Britain's shoppers, in an independent poll we
commissioned, are also opposed. But most of all I wanted to
put forward a compelling case for our members who have family and
caring commitments who are already under incredible pressure to work
on Sundays when they don't want to. If Sunday hours are extended
they're telling us they would struggle to find decent provision for
the relatives they care for, and for working parents it would have a
devastating impact on their family lives. It was extremely
useful to put our case directly to the Prime Minister and I'm
confident that the voice of Britain's 3.1 million retail workers
will be fully taken into account before the final decision is made."
Link Moves Forward
THE £16m planned extension of the Leeds
- Liverpool canal into
the Albert Dock is set to take a major step forward. The city
council's Executive Board is being asked to grant British Waterways
a long-term lease for land in front of the Three Graces at the Pier
Head so work on the canal, which will attract thousands more
tourists into the city, can go ahead,
The Board is also being asked to approve the advertising of the
proposed loss of open space. A report to the Board points out that
there will be little public space lost as the majority of the canal
will be in a culvert with only two open spaces opposite the Liver
Building and Port of Liverpool Building.
Negotiations between British Waterways and the Mersey Docks and
Harbour Company and the National Museums Liverpool are being held
about other stretches of land required to extend the canal.
"This is a very exciting development which will bring life and
animation back to the Pier Head, " said Councillor Keith
Turner, Executive Member for Resources. "As well as leasing
the land for the canal we are also going to improve the look and
condition for the Pier Head with work planned for the public areas
in time for Capital of Culture year. During the construction
of the canal, the public will still be able to get access to the
waterfront and the ferries. We want the Pier Head to be full
of life and a real asset to the city. The waterfront is one of the
most famous in the world and the canal extension will focus even
more attention on it."
It is intended that construction work will start in Summer of this
year and be completed by the end of 2007.
The report will be considered by the Board on 2 June.