Should Shopping Centers be Open on Public Holidays?
MSA Says, "NO" as Workers Needs Rest so Do our Planet
2 min. read | By Kiri Vadivelu
Recently, the Economic and Community Development Committee supported a motion to extend tourist exemptions for holiday shopping to three new locations: Yorkdale, Scarborough Town Centre, and the St Lawrence Market. The item (EC3.17) will come before City Council on May 10. What is your position on opening up shopping on public holidays in these and other commercial areas?
The Municipal Socialist Alliance and my campaign for mayor put the interests of workers first and foremost. The motion to extend tourist exemptions for holiday shopping violate the idea of work-home-life balance. It is shameful that, in the wake of a global pandemic, some authorities think it is a good idea to take statutory holidays away from front line workers - the vast majority who are working in precarious and minimum wage jobs.
MSA have also adopted climate crisis as a policy priority. Opening shopping centers on public holidays likely to increase human activity and global catastrophe; which the big corporations have little to no interest in taking real action since that undermines profit.
So, we oppose this latest move, as many of us opposed wide-open Sunday shopping when it was approved by the Bob Rae Ontario government decades ago, disregarding protests by the UFCW and other unions which represent retail workers. In the sad event that holiday shopping exemptions proceed, we should all demand that work on statutory holidays be entirely voluntary for the workers concerned, and that those who choose to work be paid double-time for their pains. But none of this should happen without the consent of workers and their unions as well as environmental considerations.