The other day, I went on a little rant about the proposal to open stores in Glebe on statutory holidays. As I said, I’m open to the idea of, basically, eliminating statutory holidays, but I’m opposed to this piecemeal approach. Let’s either do it, or not. Let’s have a proper debate about it.
But here’s the problem I have with the debate we’re having: This will be decided by 24 upper-middle class people, each making close to six figures (or more). This was brought to council by a bunch of business owners, and the idea was sewn by the actions of a multi-national corporation.
Jim Watson won’t be manning the express checkout at Whole Foods on Christmas Day.
The people who will bear the brunt of this decision will be front-line retail workers. They’re not a part of the BIA. They’re not given official lobbying and taxation powers. They don’t have the power to put forward a proposal like this.
This debate, if we’re to have it, needs to include and rely upon input from retail and service industry workers. It can’t just be the bourgeoisie telling the working class that they’ll be serving the rest of us when we have holidays.