More than 500 000 Poles have supported the civic draft law on limitation of trade on Sundays.
On 2 September, the signatures were submitted to the Speaker of the Polish Parliament (Sejm), Marek Kuchcińskiemu. Now the bill will be proceeded by the Sejm.
‘Employees in the Polish commerce sector are eagerly waiting for this law to come into force as soon as possible’ said Alfred Bujara, the President of the Solidarity Commerce trade union and the chairman of the Legislative Initiative Committee during delivering the signatures in the Parliament. He stressed that the gathering of such a large number of signatures is a great success of all the people who were involved in this initiative. ‘This bill has the support of the society. Poles willingly signed the project, including employees in the commerce sector. They are overworked, they do not even want any additional bonus for working on Sundays. They want this day to spend it with their families’.
Alfred Bujara noted that the reduction of commerce on Sundays should not mean any layoffs in companies because the staff shortages in the industry are approx. 20 percent. ‘There is a lack of workers in the commerce sector. Eight years of the crisis reduced the personnel costs. Today, one employee performs tasks that previously were the responsibility of three people’.
Bujara reminded that representatives of the ruling party Law and Justice repeatedly advocated restraint of commerce on Sundays. The Speaker of the Parliament Marek Kuchciński during the discussion with representatives of the Legislative Initiative Committee announced that the first reading of the draft bill will take place in the Parliament in October.
2 September was the deadline for submitting the bill with the signatures (the minimum was 100 thousand signatures). The initiator of the civic initiative to limit the commerce on Sundays in Poland is the National Secretariat of the Banking, Commerce and Insurance of the Solidarity TU. The committee created by Union’s President was joined by other trade unions, employers’ organisations from the sector and associations, including Polish Craft Association, Catholic Action, Polish Chamber of Liquid Fuels and the Polish Group of Supermarkets.
The project included numerous exceptions allowing trade on Sundays. It will be possible to buy products on Sundays at gas stations, bakeries or stores located at railway stations and airports, or at newsagents. Also small local shops will be open on Sundays provided that the sale will be conducted by their owners. The project involves, amongst others, the establishment of the so-called seven commercial Sundays during the year. Stores will be open, inter alia on Sundays preceding Christmas and Easter and in the periods in which sales are organised.