Shopworkers’ union Usdaw has moved quickly to answer the Department of Trade and Industry’s (DTI) request for opinions on extending Sunday trading hours, with the publication of research showing more than 90% of store workers were against such a move.

A survey of more than 500 store staff by the union found that 92% rejected any relaxation of the present rules that prevent stores over 3,000sq ft opening for longer than six hours on a Sunday.

The results from Usdaw’s research follow earlier surveys carried out by the union and by Convenience Store that showed a majority of shoppers didn’t want longer Sunday hours.

Usdaw general secretary John Hannett said: “This is a clear signal to ministers that Britain’s 2.7 million retail workers are opposed to any extension of the present six-hour limit. The situation at present works perfectly well and we hope ministers understand that.”

The DTI has encouraged businesses and consumers to express their opinions on extending Sunday trading hours as part of the government’s review of the Sunday Trading Act 1994.

An Early Day Motion calling for government to resist pressure to change the Act has attracted 168 signatures from MPs declaring their opposition to an extension.

The Association of Convenience Stores is to meet the DTI next week to put its case for keeping Sunday trading hours the same.

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