The SDA slammed the Baillieu Liberal Government for destroying Easter for retail workers.

Allowing all Victorian shops to open on Easter Sunday will devastate retail workers and their families who deserve a holiday break like everyone else, Shop Assistants Union (SDA) State Secretary Michael Donovan said today.

“Victoria will become the only mainland state to open on Easter Sunday if this legislation is passed,” Mr Donovan said.  “Even the Liberal Government in WA has not opened shops on Easter Sunday.”

Currently in Victoria Good Friday, Easter Saturday and Easter Monday are public holidays.

But Easter Sunday is not a public holiday. Retail workers are entitled to take Easter Sunday as a day off only because it is a shop closing day.

But if the Liberal Government opens the shops on Easter Sunday retail workers will be forced to work on the day.

Many retail workers are married women who have children and want to take an Easter break with their family. Ted Baillieu is going to destroy their family Easter break.

Mr Donovan condemned Ted Baillieu for ruthlessly tearing up the Easter break for retail workers and tossing it out the window.

Mr Donovan said the majority of Australians were Christians and Mr Baillieu was now dismissing Easter Sunday as a day of special significance for them.

“At the very least the Government should legislate Easter Sunday as a public holiday so that those who are forced to work are paid public holiday penalties to compensate them for having their Easter break destroyed.” Mr Donovan said.

Just last November the NSW parliament legislated for Easter Sunday to be a public holiday in NSW (as well as retaining shop closing legislation). The Liberal and National Parties voted in favour of this legislation as did all parties in the NSW Parliament.

Mr Donovan said the Victorian Government should get off the backs of hard-working retail employees who already work extended hours.

“As it stands, Victorians can shop ’til they drop almost all year round.

“Easter Sunday is one of only 3½ days a year that stores don’t open. The others are Christmas Day, Good Friday and half of ANZAC day.

“They are all days of special significance and should be protected from the greed of retailers.”

(The SDA represents 50,000 retail workers in Victoria throughout Metropolitan and regional Victoria.)