Unions’ bracelet campaign aims to keep big retailers closed on holidays

Trade unions have launched a campaign to prevent a 2016 law banning larges stores from operating on certain public holidays from being amended.

Some 80,000 retail workers and supporters of the law have taken to wearing green bracelets with the inscription “Don’t take away our holidays”.

Currently, stores with a retail space of over 200 square metres must be closed on New Year’s Eve, Easter Monday, Victory in Europe Day, St. Wenceslas Day and Czech Independence Day. On Christmas Eve, they can operate only until noon, and must be closed on December 25 and 26.

The Czech Trade Inspection oversees compliance with the ban, which does not apply to pharmacies, petrol stations, and shops at airports, railway stations and in hospitals.