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Bookmakers Sunday opening needs approval of employees - McCartney

2 September, 2010 - by Raymond McCartney

Sinn Féin Spokesperson, Raymond McCartney MLA (Foyle) responding to concerns expressed by employees of local bookmakers about proposed Sunday opening said:

“Sinn Féin has been lobbied recently by both staff and employers of bookmakers on this issue. In the North of Ireland this matter comes under the remit of the Department of Social Development and DSD Minister, Alex Attwood.

“Sinn Féin has approached this issue, as with any other similar proposed legislation, on a Rights based approach which will protect the rights of workers as well as regulating the industry to protect those with gambling related problems including challenging the proliferation of gambling outlets.

“Sinn Féin is not opposed to Sunday opening in principle but workers rights must be paramount in any change in regulations. Workers should not be obligated to work on a Sunday and those who choose voluntarily to do so in the case of the laws being changed must be properly remunerated.

“But rather than single out the issue of Sunday opening, Sinn Féin has consistently argued that the Minister for Social Development should conduct a fully inclusive consultation into the whole gambling sector. The Minister has so far refused to do this – instead announcing his desire to push ahead with plans to allow Bookmakers to open on Sundays.

“Sinn Féin's members of the Social Development Committee will continue to defend workers rights and endeavour to influence the passage of any draft legislation on this matter.

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