Dugdale and Corbyn in plea to SNP on Sunday shopping

Labour leader Kezia Dugdale. Picture: PA
Labour leader Kezia Dugdale. Picture: PA
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The UK and Scottish Labour leaders have united to urge the SNP not to back plans to relax Sunday shopping laws in England and Wales.

Jeremy Corbyn and Kezia Dugdale have penned a joint letter calling on First Minister and SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon to rule out supporting the move.

The UK government’s Enterprise Bill proposes devolving the power to extend Sunday trading hours to English and Welsh local authorities.

While Scotland already has control of Sunday shopping laws, opponents of the new legislation for England and Wales warn that the change could impact on premiums – the extra pay Scottish shopworkers receive for working Sundays – as big retailers compensate for staying open longer in other parts of the UK.

Dugdale told the Usdaw conference in Cumbernauld yesterday: “Nicola Sturgeon must not turn her back on the commitments made that her party would vote against this attack on shop workers.

“The rights of Scottish workers must not be subject to a Tory-SNP stitch-up in Westminster.”

Usdaw general secretary John Hannett added: “Retailers have previously reduced or removed Sunday premiums to offset the costs of opening stores for longer.

“If that happens again in UK-wide companies, Scottish shop workers will pay the price of longer opening hours in England and Wales.”

Hannah Bardell, the SNP’s business spokeswoman, said “additional employee 
protections” were brought forward in the bill to protect any worker from being forced into working on a Sunday.

“On behalf of the SNP I have met with and engaged with a wide range of interested stakeholders in recent weeks and will continue to do so in the run-up to report stage of the bill before we reach a final position,” she added.