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GERMANY / February 2014

Annual Meeting of the German Sunday Alliance in Düsseldorf

On 25th February 2014, in Dusseldorf, at Ver.di headquarters, the German Sunday Alliance held its Annual meeting aiming at taking stock of campaigns in the different federal states and regional alliances with a view to protect a work-free Sunday and to defend the right for German workers and citizens to enjoy a common day of rest with family and friends.


unknownAlthough Germany is the country where there is more rigid legislation as regards, for instance, shop opening hours on Sundays, late evenings and holidays, and has one of the most favorable working time regulation for commerce workers, many differences exist in the various German Federal States. This is the case, in particular, for those regions that have borders with other countries where opening on Sundays is subject to less stringent rules.


The European Sunday Alliance was invited to give a speech on the most recent European initiatives to protect a work-free Sunday. In particular, Laila Castaldo, UNI Europa Policy Officer for Commerce, spoke about the possible legal avenues to recognize Sunday as a common day of rest in the EU and the status of the revision of the European working time directive now that negotiations between social partners at European level have failed. Susanne Herkommer from the Brussels Office of the Protestant Church in Germany (EKD) and Anna Echterhoff from the Secretariat of the European Sunday Alliance reported on the recent European conference on “work-free Sunday and decent jobs” and presented the pledge. The pledge was then signed by candidates to the European Parliament Election who were present at the annual meeting.


The day was also marked by a symbolic action. Participants drew a graffiti on the street in front of the conference venue asking “Freedom for Sunday”.

The 3rd of March will be the European Action day for a work-free Sunday and in many towns in Germany demonstrations will mark the day.


Further information can be found on the ver.di webpage:

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