Staff back Sunday hours extension during Olympics

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Employees at mobile shops in London support government plans to abolish Sunday working hours for eight weeks during this summer’s event

Mobile retail staff in London have backed the government’s proposals to abolish maximum working hours on Sundays for eight weeks during this summer’s Olympic Games.

Chancellor George Osborne announced a nationwide suspension of Sunday trading laws from July 22 in his Budget speech last Wednesday, in order to maximise trade opportunities during the Games.

Osborne said: “Some of the biggest events will be held on a Sunday.

“As a country, we want to make the most of the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

“When millions of visitors come to Britain to see them, we don’t want to hang up a ‘Closed for Business’ sign.”

Vodafone, O2, Carphone Warehouse and Phones 4U have all said they will consider opening stores longer if the current six-hour trading window is extended.

A Phones 4U spokesperson said: “We will definitely be taking advantage of this opportunity and the benefits this presents to both our customers and our business.

“We are currently in the process of defining what this looks like and how we will be maximising this opportunity.”

A Vodafone spokesperson said: “We are looking at extending opening times for those stores that are situated near Olympic venues.

“It would be something we’d look at.”

An O2 spokesperson added: “We are looking into the Chancellor’s proposal at present and have made no decision at this stage.”

Retail staff from Vodafone, Three, O2, Everything Everywhere and Carphone Warehouse stores based in and around the Olympic site in Stratford have welcomed the plans.

Staff approached by Mobile News all agreed that an extension of hours during the Olympics would inevitably boost trade, as well as their own commissions and pay.

One O2 employee said: “Work is work, and in this climate you need to earn all you can.”

Another O2 staff member said: “There are going to be a lot more people in the area during the Olympic games and inevitably phones will be lost or stolen and need replacing, or just need credit. It’s no good us being closed.

A Three employee added: “I already work Sundays and to me Sunday is just another working day.”

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