STA, 30 April - It seems increasingly likely that the closure of stores, including groceries, on Sundays as a result of the coronavirus epidemic will become a permanent arrangement and be extended also to the period after the crisis. A legislative initiative to this effect, announced by the opposition Left, was backed on Thursday by PM Janez Janša.
In announcing the legislative proposal, the Left joined today the Trade Union of Shop Assistants, which argued ahead of Labour Day in favour of keeping stores closed on Sundays and bank holidays also after the epidemic.
Podpiramo ? https://t.co/3EJRoaO3YC— Janez Janša (@JJansaSDS) April 30, 2020
The Left pointed out that voters had already decided in a referendum in 2003 that stores should be closed on Sundays, but were ignored later due to pressure from retailers.
Prime Minister Janša responded to the Left's tweet by tweeting "We support". Support was also expressed at the government's coronavirus briefing by Interior Minister Aleš Hojs, who said he had been an advocate of this all along. Hojs said those working in stores should be free at least one day a week and that it did not matter if consumers spent their money in six or seven days.
The Chamber of Commerce responded to the developments by arguing that the trade union and the Left should be aware one working day less would result in redundancies.
"Such a change depends on a change of the collective bargaining agreement that needs to be agreed by social partners, meaning the trade unions and employers," the chamber's president Marija Lah told the STA.