Video store bosses went to war against union watchdog
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.”