Gordon is at the heart of opposition to the Government’s attempts to change the Sunday trading laws, as a member of Labour’s Shadow Business Ministers team, which will be challenging the Government in a Commons vote on this tomorrow.
The Government’s plans would devolve Sunday Trading regulations to local authorities which in general would lead to an extension to Sunday Trading hours. Speaking on the eve of the debate, Gordon said: "I have always championed the needs of local shops and businesses in Blackpool but also keeping the work-life balance reasonable for shop workers and their families."
He added: “From previous campaigns where I have worked with USDAW members in Blackpool particularly on keeping Christmas Day special I know how important work life balance is for hundreds of shop workers across the town for them and their families.
“Many people in Blackpool, especially women, have to do enough juggling with hours or part- time jobs to make ends meet and see their families and relatives. They don t need this Government and in particular George Osborne making their life even more difficult by putting them in a situation where they could be pressured into working long hours on a Sunday as well."
“These proposals have been slipped in at the eleventh hour sneakily into the Government’s Enterprise Bill. There was no discussion of it in the Lords and a complete lack of scrutiny or consultation for such a major change.”
“The Sunday Trading Act as it is at present is a law which has worked well for over 20 years and gives everyone a little bit of what they want. From speaking to different groups of people across Blackpool, they remain in favour of the current laws. Retailers can trade, customers can shop, staff can work; whilst Sunday remains a special day, different to other days, and shopworkers can spend some time with their family.
“Extending Sunday trading does also not mean customers have more money to spend, it would not create jobs and is likely to lead to the closure of smaller stores. In Blackpool it’s not a way to boost the local economy or help town centres such as ours.”
“It would be detrimental to shopworkers and their families, as well as to wider society, ultimately they would undermine their rights and pay”
“That’s why I and my colleagues are strongly opposed to the Government’s proposals – we are standing alongside the businesses, shop-workers, trade unions, faith groups and others. Osborne’s proposals will do little to drive growth – and I believe Sundays should remain a special day for people and their families.”
John Hannett, Usdaw General Secretary said: “Usdaw and our members are delighted to have the support of Gordon and many others who value the special nature of Sunday and want to protect it. “