Lord of the Stubbed Toe
I'm sure if I sent that story to the newspaper, it would receive front page placement since the biggest story for the past two weeks seems to be the Sunday shopping debate. More than half of Nova Scotians don't want Sunday shopping to come into effect citing that small businesses will suffer at the hands of the hypermarket grocery chains and workers being forced to work on the one day they can count on having off.
Both are valid reasons to oppose Sunday shopping but the way I look at it, if over half of Nova Scotians oppose it and workers don't want it, then it's much ado about nothing. The problem will take care of itself. If shoppers really don't want to shop on Sundays, they won't and the stores will open with no clientele. If workers will either quit or be fired for having to work on Sundays, then there'll be no one to staff the stores anyway.
Already some stores, like pharmacies (which are more like mini supermarkets anyway), are open on Sundays and they're just as busy on Sundays as they are any other day of the week so I guess there is a demand for it.
For the workers who are afraid they won't have one day of rest during the week, I can't say I buy this argument since the labour laws are still in effect over how much time employers can demand of their employees. It's not like employees will be working 24-7 anyway. Since I was the owner of a small business that stayed open 7 days a week, we certainly had no problem finding workers willing to give up their Sundays for pay. Many young people looking for weekend shifts and older people looking to supplement their incomes ensured us of a steady supply of shift workers--including myself.
Even when I wasn't working in retail but in advertising, I not only spent Sundays working but many evenings as well and since I had a salaried position, I rarely got paid for the extra hours I put in. I did them anyway because even if I found another job that was strictly 9 to 5, it didn't pay enough, was boring or both. As a working mother and wife, I appreciated having stores open later hours and on Sundays because it meant I could shop around my own working hours instead of stressing myself out trying to get my shopping done in stores that closed before my company did.
I'm sure that once Sunday shopping becomes the norm rather than the exception people will calm down and realize it does have its benefits as well. And maybe then they can focus on more important issues like increasing the minimum wage for workers.