Video store bosses went to war against union watch­dog

Burton Mail - - Bygones - By STEPHEN SINFIELD stephen.sinfield@trin­i­tymir­ 01283 245011 @mail­re­mem­bers

BAT­TLE lines were drawn in Septem­ber 1988 be­tween the bosses of Bur­ton video li­braries and trade unions.

Video li­brary bosses hit fast-for­ward af­ter the shop­work­ers’ union US­DAW set up a spe­cial “shop watch” scheme to crack­down on stores open­ing on a Sun­day.

Speak­ing in 1988, one video hire shop dealer said: “Staff are pre­pared to work and it cre­ates em­ploy­ment. We do 20% of our busi­ness on a Sun­day. This is the en­ter­tain­ment in­dus­try and peo­ple ex­pect us to be open.”

The union ini­tia­tive was launched to counter changes that had been made to the Sun­day trad­ing laws with the union plan­ning to mount street pa­trols to crack down on shops it deemed to be open­ing out­side of the law.

This move was chal­lenged by the Video Trades As­so­ci­a­tion (VTA) and other re­tail groups. The VTA’S chair­man, Derek Mann, said the union’s ac­tions posed a mas­sive threat to the fu­ture of video shops.

Alan Colling­ton of US­DAW said they were not sin­gling out video shops. He said: “We are con­cerned about the il­le­gal open­ing of any shops.

“If a com­pany opens il­le­gally on a

Sun­day then it is up to the lo­cal au­thor­ity to pros­e­cute and they are li­able for a £2,000 fine.

“We shall also be watch­ing lo­cal plan­ning ap­pli­ca­tions for any­thing un­savoury.”

A spokesman from East Stafford­shire Dis­trict Coun­cil said: “We usu­ally wait for com­plaints be­fore we take ac­tion, but we have pros­e­cuted and have taken High Court in­junc­tions.”

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