‘Santas’ protest Boxing Day changes

boxingday_saleUnionists dressed as Santa have protested outside NSW parliament against a bill that will have shop employees in regional areas working on Boxing Day.

Legislation introduced by the state government to extend December 26 trading laws from designated zones in Sydney’s CBD and the eastern suburbs to western Sydney and regional areas, is expected to be voted on in the upper house on Tuesday.

“Christmas just isn’t Christmas without Boxing Day for retail workers, and it’s in the power of the upper house to say no,” said Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees’ Association NSW secretary, Bernie Smith.

NSW treasurer, Gladys Berejiklian, earlier this month reinforced the government’s position, after liaising with the local business community at a forum in Western Sydney.

“The message I received from Western Sydney businesses was loud and clear: outdated Boxing Day trading rules must be modernised,” she said.

“It is unfair that residents of the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney get to access the Boxing Day sales while those in Western Sydney do not. It is also unfair that some businesses in regional NSW can open and some cannot,” said Berejiklian. “The NSW government committed at the March election to amend retail trading laws to allow all shops to trade on Boxing Day and we will honour that promise.”

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