Union wants SA shop deregulation to stop

Rick Goodman

A retail union is calling for the South Australian government to scrap plans to deregulate shop trading hours, saying it will cost local small business jobs.

The Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees' Association's SA branch wants Premier Steven Marshall to abandon his plan to allow shops to trade later on weekends and on public holidays.

"If deregulation goes ahead, local businesses will be squeezed out of the retail market by interstate supermarket chains, and hardworking South Australians will suffer," SDA assistant secretary Josh Peak said as a media campaign was launched on Sunday.

The Liberal government has promised to further deregulate shopping hours in SA and Adelaide, saying it will boost the economy and create jobs.

But the SDA believes there is no substantial evidence that suggests deregulation will lead to economic growth.

"It just means retail workers will have to work more unsociable hours," Mr Peak said.

"Weekends and public holidays should be for everyone."

An advertising campaign called Stop Deregulation was launched on Sunday featuring local grocers and farmers who believe it will impact their businesses.

"The Liberals proposed deregulation of shop trading hours will unfairly benefit the big guys, like Coles and Woolies," Coromandel Valley pear farmer John Magarey says in one ad.

"Big supermarkets and low prices don't give growers a fair return. This makes life hard for us."

Major supermarkets in Adelaide can't currently trade after 5pm on weekends and only small shops can open on public holidays.