Monday, March 28, 2005

Trading Restrictions and Holydays

Responding to DPF's recent post about the inconsistencies of the Easter trading laws: I enjoyed my day off on Friday. Perhaps there is something wrong with me for not feeling outraged at the shops not being open, but the problem for me is that if trading is liberalised on Good Friday, then my holiday which I value and cherish is at risk. Example: Retail stores open their showrooms on Good Friday. Head office stays shut (typical weekend operating scenario) so the after hours structure of the organisation kicks in. Because competition is the magic formula we thirst for, all the other retail stores progressively open to be competitive and to get a share of the turnover. The retail sector thus becomes activated and for the better part is operational. So we find keen students eager for their 250% (150% increase) and we can staff the stores. At what point does the organisation determine that there's no point having the office staff at home when they could be completing their work ahead of an already busy long weekend turnover wise? The staff may even say: having Good Friday and Easter Sunday sales AND the stat Monday is too much for the following week - we need to get our stuff done on Friday. A case arises to have the head office staff in on Good Friday. All it takes is one, then all follow in the name of competition. When does the demand for services on Good Friday extend to postage, to courier delivery, to banking, to transport, and to all the other industries which would normally shut on a public holiday? Easter Sunday is a very private day in terms of family and worship, so people can spend it how they please [no pun intended]. If my organisation had the power to roster me to work on a public holiday and/or on the weekend, I would be worried that I could be asked to work on Easter Sunday. It is the right of every NZer to work, rest and shop, however it is important to me that the needs and rights of workers are given grave consideration when considering the needs and 'rights' of consumers. The clamouring for open doors all hours is what led to late night trading: people don't moan about working the hours because they're used to it now. Why should ten years difference make it OK? Irony dances her merry little jig: the public holiday isn't really a public holiday, even today. Yes workers should have the right to work, but why persist with the misnomer? If there is any consistency behind calls to liberalise trading laws, the calls should also seek the abolition of the term 'holiday' in any reference to the existing statutory days, as it is grossly apparent that there are no holidays taking place anymore, only transactions. Either that or those on holiday have already left the city.


Blogger Greg Stephens said...

My posting on the subject
Pretty much I think that Easter should not be a holiday. But instead people get say 5 days a year which they can nominate as holy days. They do not work these days, if they have to they get time and a half and a day in lieu.

1:29 PM  

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