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The Vancouver News-Herald announces an upcoming plebiscite to determine the favourability of a six-day shopping week.
“If a work week not exceeding 40 hours is guaranteed all retail employees, are you in favour of a six-day shopping week?” the referendum question will ask, when it is attached to the ballot in the December civic election.
“There are conflicting views on this question from the merchants,” says Alderman Earle Adams, who supports the idea, “but there may be enough evidence to show public thinking has changed.”
After a 6-1 vote in City Council, the referendum question is drafted, intended to affect all Vancouver-area business, which are, by law, closed on Wednesdays and Sundays. Nathan H. Singer, a representative of “200 downtown stores”, alleges that the city’s current five-day shopping week “leaves the city wide open to attack from outside areas – West Vancouver, Burnaby and New Westminster,” and causes “catastrophic traffic and parking problems, especially in the downtown area.”
J.W. Cornett, the lone committee member who opposed the referendum, cautions that 40-hour-week legislation be introduced for retail workers before any action is taken.
“There should be legislation to protect retail employees,” Singer replies, “but it is our democratic right to be able to operate our businesses at maximum capacity.”
A six-day shopping week will be approved in the December referendum.
Image: Women shopping at a local clothing & shoe store, circa 1942. Image courtesy of the Vancouver Archives.