NSZZ "Solidarność" wins Sunday commerce victory in Polish Parliament
On November 24th Sejm – the Polish Parliament passed a law on limiting the commerce on Sundays. According to it, since 1st March 2018, workers will be allowed to work in the shops on the first and last Sunday of the month. In 2019, shops will only be open on the last Sunday of each month, and since 2020 commerce workers will enjoy all Sundays as free from work.
The bill was brought to the Parliament last year by the Public Committee on Sunday commerce limitation act. TU Solidarity of commerce workers played a leading role in it. The committee is represented by Alfred Bujara – President of the Secretariat of Banks, Commerce and Insurance of the TU NSZZ "Solidarność". Last year more than half million Polish citizens supported the bill on Sunday commerce limitation which was worked out by the Committee.
“The solution proposed in the act to reach all the Sundays free from work in the commerce in three years must be considered as our success. The earlier proposal by the parliamentary commission to introduce only two free Sundays a month was contrary to the spirit of citizens’ bill and did not meet the expectations of commerce workers. We can now talk about a real compromise” says Alfred Bujara, President of the Secretariat of Banks, Commerce and Insurance Solidarity TU, and initiator of the Citizens' Sunday commerce limitation act.
The law establishes additional 7 commercial Sundays during the year. Stores will be open on Sundays in December before Christmas and on last Sundays in January, April, June and August, during seasonal sales.
Simultaneously, the Act introduces numerous exceptions to the introduced limitations. On Sundays bakeries, petrol stations or shops at the railway stations and airports will still be open. However, some restrictions have been introduced to prevent the creation of supermarkets at petrol stations or to create new stores at railway stations. Beside that, if the shop owner will be the one who is working on Sundays then the shop will be permitted to operate in a housing estates.
Alfred Bujara said that some provisions of the Act are not satisfactory for the “Solidarity” Commerce Workers TU. – Our Union will seek to amend the Act as soon as possible. One of the issues is the e-commerce. The limitations in this area, which we have enumerated in the civil bill, have been erased, which creates a considerable field of abuse. Another issue is the deletion of the provisions concerning all types of distribution centers. In the project we submitted the solution that Sunday work in such companies would be allowed with the consent of the employee. Workers would also have 100 percent allowance for work on that day. This postulate is still valid, pointed out Alfred Bujara.