The Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers (Usdaw) has demanded better deals for retail workers working on bank holidays.

While speaking at the Usdaw Annual Delegate Meeting in Blackpool’s Winter Gardens, Usdaw deputy general secretary Dave McCrossen said that the union will push for amending the law to reduce working hours for every bank holiday.

McCrossen said: “The push for ever-increasing availability puts retail workers under pressure all year round. A shorter working day on bank holidays is not too much to ask. Knowing that you won’t have to get up at the crack of dawn and go to work, knowing you will leave in time to enjoy a bank holiday dinner with your family; to meet up with friends or simply to relax at home. This is the very least our members deserve.”

In addition, Usdaw seeks to make working on bank holidays voluntary and commits to continue demanding higher pay for retail workers on these days.

McCrossen added: “We believe that the Government has a role here too, they should step in and regulate bank holiday trading. Our members work hard, they are essential to their communities and they deserve a break.”

During the meeting, Dave McCrossen also raised the issue of short staffing in retail stores and assured that the union will continue to challenge locations where its members are impacted by low staffing.

The union has more than 350,000 members, most of whom work in the retail sector.

McCrossen concluded: “Overworked staff can’t be as productive and they make more mistakes. When they go off sick, or leave the business, it costs money. They lose the knowledge and skills of experienced staff and of course, understaffing affects customer service. It is a false economy.”