Sunday, February 5News For London

Young people face the worst festive Eve season every year

The young workforce who are trying to make a bit of extra cash end up having an anti-social Christmas.


Over 78,000 people have signed a petition to stop shops opening during Christmas and Boxing day after retail workers across the UK have complained about the stress of working during these periods.

As Christmas approaches, streets and malls become busier with shoppers from all over the world, and young people are mostly found working in these retail shops which prevent them from spending time with their families on the holidays.

Dave William, the Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers (USDAW), Media officer told Westminster world: “We know that boxing days are becoming popular in recent times but we don’t see any reason why these sales cannot take place some other day or after the boxing day and have a break.

“Opening shops for longer doesn’t necessary means people will spend more money”. USDAW is a trade union, which represents people working in retail.

Joana Baz, 23, Said: “It is really stressful to work in retail during the Christmas period because for retail shops the festive season starts from November to January and no one is allowed to have any day off during this period.

“I left my job two days ago because I wanted to spend Christmas with my family. I have friends who haven’t spent Christmas with their family for more than three years, they are only 21 and 22 of age and this is unfair.”

The union spokesperson said: “Public transport is limited on holidays and many employees who tend to go back to their families on Christmas day have to wake up early the next morning for Boxing day and this can be very stressful.”

The union says it’s calling for the longest possible break for retail staff over the Christmas and new year period and also wants shops to be closed on Boxing Day, Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve.

Laurisa, 20, who is working in a retail shop in Paddington said: ” Last year I worked on the 25th of December and there was no transport running and the owner told us to take an Uber to work while being paid 7 pounds an hour only, I couldn’t afford that.”

I worked on Christmas eve, boxing days and also in new years eve, many people do not show up, I feel I am wasting my time doing nothing, and when costumer show up they tell me why are you here you should go home its Christmas”.

Laurisa added: “Managers cannot be bothered, they sign us to work during the entire holiday and they don’t think about our personal lives, they expect you to focus the company and they don’t consider paying us more for that.”

According to the Union, a Similar petition was done two years ago and over one million people signed not to work during the holidays but nothing was changed.

Joana said: “Even though in some retails they tend to hire more people to work on the holidays but even though the coverage is not enough.”

Bhakti said: A positive thing working on Christmas is that I get a self-training for handling a large number of people and getting more sales.