The petition addressed to the President of the Assembly of the Republic is entitled "For the closure of malls on Sundays" and aims to improve the quality of life of hundreds of employees who ensure the operation of the stores on Sundays. The initiative came after the bishop of Porto said on Easter Sunday that shopping centers and supermarkets were open on Sunday was a matter of "labor slavery".
"Do we really need to have a mall open every day of the week, from 10 am to 11 pm?" And "would we stop shopping or have what is needed if the malls in Portugal ended on Sunday?" These are the questions put in the petition text that at 4.25 pm this Tuesday, April 23, had already 37,827 signatures, according to the official website of the Public Petition.
According to the legislation, "any petition signed by a minimum of one thousand citizens is obligatorily published in the Diário da Assembleia and, if subscribed by more than four thousand citizens, is considered in Plenary of the Assembly." In other words, the measure should now be discussed in Parliament shortly.
"Would we stop going to the mall if during the week it ended at 9:00 p.m. and not later? The answer is No. No. No. ", adds the text of the public petition, whose officials point out that" with the closure of shopping centers on Sunday, people would be faced with a new challenge (which is already happening in other countries): spending time in family outdoors "and" strengthen communication between parents and children, between friends, between couples, between acquaintances! Stimulate city life! Support Local Trades! ".
It should be recalled that in Portugal, shopping centers are open every day of the week, usually between 10 and 23 hours. And they need hundreds of employees to make rotating and long hours. In this regard, the Petitioners point out the advantages of closing shopping malls on Sunday: "we would be helping mall workers to also have more human, more balanced schedules. There is a long way to go in the equality and justice of the workers of our country, in all areas it is true, but with this measure, we are already taking a giant step in this direction.
In the text of the initiative they also argue that nobody would stop going to these areas, no one would stop buying. "We were educated and accustomed to having large open areas 7 days a week, but this is a measure of self-interest and nothing civilized," the Petitioners said, adding that "thousands and millions of people flock to shopping malls on Sunday. strolling, forgetting that strolling is a different concept. "
More family time, defend petition
For the authors of this initiative, "family time is increasingly scarce and the only day that is destined for it, ends up being spent in an unhealthy, closed way."
With the closure of the malls on Sunday people would be faced with a new challenge (which is already happening in other countries and one of the factors we call "quality of life"): spending time in the family outdoors! Strengthen communication between parents and children, among friends, between couples, between acquaintances! Stimulate city life! Support Local Trades!
In the Petition is also given the example of greater purchasing power in cities such as Lyon, France, and that, nevertheless, malls are closed on Sunday.
"Because? Because they give more importance to the picnics in the park, the lake, the walks through the historic center, the ice cream on the terrace, the bike ride along the river … all those beautiful images that we sometimes see in movies. Such a quality of life, "added the people in charge of the Petition, stressing that" no one will stop having your blouse, your pants or the suitcase just because the mall is closed on Sunday. " This is because, they conclude, "people would quickly become accustomed to new schedules and organize their lives and their shopping malls."
"The new slavery", says bishop of Porto
This public petition came after the bishop of Porto defended during the Easter homily that Sunday is family day and that therefore shopping centers and supermarkets should not be open. According to D. Manuel Linda, who criticizes the opening to Sunday and considers that the richer countries do not, it is a matter of "labor slavery" and "greed".
According to the website Ecclesia, the Catholic official also warned at that Mass for the "serious psychological disorders of the worker and the fractionation of family encounters" that this situation causes. "Let us think of the new slavery of continuous labor, legally imposed by the new masters of the world who dominate the economy, and by this, the governments. Think like the criteria of shifts, in sectors where, in addition to greed, nothing justifies them, "he said.
Also on Easter Sunday, the Lidl supermarket chain opted not to open any establishment for employees to enjoy the day with the family. The measure was applauded by thousands of people on social networks. Stores Pingo Doce, Continente and Jumbo opened but closed earlier than usual.