Poland’s Solidarność trade union are demanding the current Sunday trading ban be extended to take in Saturday night and the early hours of Monday morning.
As most of us are familiar with now, the Sunday trading ban is the result of pressure from members of the Polish Catholic Church and the Solidarność trade union. It was voted into law by the Polish Parliament late last year.
Supermarkets and all other large shops must close as a result of the new legislation. Petrol stations, convenience stores, florists, bakeries, post offices and newsagents can nonetheless remain open.
This year the ban applies on the two Sundays in the middle of the month. In 2019 large shops will only be able to trade one Sunday per month, while a total Sunday ban will be in place in 2020.
When the Sunday trading ban was introduced in March year, some chain stores reacted by increasing their opening hours on Fridays and Saturdays. In order to prepare some stores for the start of the week, Biedronka even introduced nightshifts starting at 00.01 on Monday morning.
Solidarność have not been amused by this change, and they want the law to be amended to stop shops from operating between Saturday at 10pm and Sunday at 5am.
Alfred Bujara, chairman of the national secretariat of banks, trade and social insurance of NSZZ Solidarność, has told next.gazeta.pl that many employees of retail chains have problems getting home after work on Saturday evening or getting to work in the early hours of Monday morning.
The news comes just days after Solidarność declared they will also ask the government to stop Żabka stores from flouting the Sunday trading ban. In April the convenience store giant announced that many of its stores would be able to open due to them operating as parcel pick-up points – effectively making the shops post offices.
Before the Żabka made the move, only the owner of the franchise or his/her family could work in the shop on Sunday. This resulted in a number Żabka shops restricting the number of clients who could enter the shop. Some Żabka bosses even decided to employ external security staff to prevent shoplifting.