Sunday 29. March 2015


22.11 2011
Growing up during the regime in the '80s I witnessed my mother celebrating Sundays as a family day by baking yummy treats together. She never did laundry on Sundays, even though she worked full time. I asked her how did she manage to keep us sparkling clean, without having even running...


The European Sunday Alliance participated in the public consultation on the review on the Working Time Directive

The European Sunday Alliance participated in the public consultation on the review on the Working Time Directive


The European Commission’s is currently reviewing the Working Time Directive (2003/88/EC) and launched an online public consultation of the Directive. A public consultation is a tool used by the European Commission to gather insights and contributions from all citizens and organisations.


unknownThe purpose of the Working Time Directive is to protect the health and safety of employees by setting down minimum standards, applicable throughout the EU, relating to working time regulations. The Directive applies to minimum periods of daily rest, weekly rest and annual leave, to breaks and maximum weekly working time and to certain aspects of night work and patterns of work.


The European Sunday Alliance participated in the public consultation, as follows:


The European Sunday Alliance is a network of trade unions, employers’ organisations, national Sunday Alliances, civil society organisations and church organisations. Due to this huge variety of organisations the Alliance decided to remain neutral, except on this question: A work-free Sunday and decent working hours are of paramount importance for EU-citizens. Current legislation and practices need to be more protective of the dignity, safety and health of everyone and should more attentively promote the balancing of professional and family/private life. Employment, the creation of jobs and economic competitiveness are the main requirements for Europe. However competitiveness, decent work and a common weekly day of rest go hand in hand: Competitiveness needs innovation, innovation needs creativity and creativity needs recreation! The EU should fulfill its obligation under Art.31 EUCFR and Art.153 TFEU and promote decent working hours, which exclude in general working late evenings, nights, bank holidays and Sundays. Empirical studies prove that non-standard working hours cause a de-synchronisation of the social rhythms, which has a serious negative effect on the health and safety of workers. Unsustainable working time patterns can lead to increased stress and illnesses. People usually work on Sundays or at irregular hours out of financial necessity rather than by choice. Work-free weekends traditionally support the independence of persons from a purely economic-driven lifestyle. Sundays are the reference for the time organisation of state and society. The Directive 94/33/EC acknowledges Sunday as the weekly rest day for young people. It is important to enable families to enjoy a proper family life. In times of growing individualism collective spare time becomes more important. Only a well-protected common weekly day of rest as requested in the European Social Charter enables citizens to enjoy full participation in cultural, sports, social and religious life.

Brussels, 2 March 2015


Download the text in pdf



First European Interest Group WORK-LIFE BALANCE launched

First European Interest Group WORK-LIFE BALANCE launched


3 March 2015

unknown3rd March 2015 – On the very day when the European Day for a Work Free Sunday is celebrated across Europe, at the EU Parliament, and in the presence of MEPs from different political groups, the European Sunday Alliance launched the first European Interest Group on WORK-LIFE BALANCE. For the first time, the interest group  - supported by representatives of politicians, trade unions, business executives, family and sports organisations and representatives of churches and religious communities - brought together 50 people to discuss how to ensure that EU legislation respects and promotes workers' health and promotes a better balance between family and private life and workRead more


Welcome to our new Belgian member

Welcome to the new member “Algemeen Belgisch Vakverbond - Fédération Générale du Travail de Belgique”!


unknownAlgemeen Belgisch Vakverbond - Fédération Générale du Travail de Belgique (ABVV-FGTB) is a socialist trade union with a social democratic philosophy and ideology. Its basic principles are: equality, justice, democracy and solidarity.

It has more than 1,5 million affiliates and is one of the 3 officially as representative recognized trade union confederations in Belgium.

It’s one of the founding members of the European Trade Unions Confederation (ETUC), as well as the International trade Unions Confederation (ITUC). On the international level, ABVV-FGTB is involved in a growing number of campaigns with other social movements (e.g. Climate Coalition).



Conference: Touche pas à mon dimanche!

“Touche pas à mon dimanche!”


This was the slogan of the conference organised in Paris by our members CFTC Paris and the Collectif des Amis du Dimanche (CAD) on 18 November 2013.


More information:


Annual Meeting of the German Sunday Alliance in Düsseldorf

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:

Or on the facebook page:

New Member organisation

The European Sunday Alliance welcomes a new member from the Netherlands!


The European Sunday Alliance is happy to inform you that as of today, the RMU – de Reformatorisch Maatschappelijke Unie – has joined the Alliance.


This Dutch organization defends the interests of employers, employees and the self-employed and is as such both a Union and an employers’ organization. It provides its members with information, judicial advice and help with negotiations. The RMU is a strong supporter of the work-free Sunday and we are therefore thankful that they have chosen to join us.


European Day for a work-free Sunday on 3 March 2014

European Day for a work-free Sunday on 3 March 2014

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AUSTRIA: Austrian Constitutional Court confirms shop opening hours

14 June 2012

In its judgement (G 66/11-8) of 14 June 2012 the Austrian Constitutional Court confirmed that the prohibition on shop opening on Sundays and bank holidays is consistent with the Austrian constitution. The overall objectives of shop closing or opening hours are: the protection of the interests of consumers, the aims of the competition regime and the socio-political function. All of these objectives would be in the public interest, says the Court.

SPAIN: Supermarket employees will be entitled to at least five weekends off a year

20 June 2012

The National Court is Spain gave unions satisfaction. Supermarket employees will be entitled to at least five weekends off a year, regardless of the fact that their workload is divided over 4, 5 or 6 days a week. The National Court gave satisfaction to the CCOO and UGT unions against the sector's employers' organizations, which claimed that this right was reserved to 6 days a week. (Ref. 120408)


ITALY: permanent dialogue between Municipalities and sector union organizations

19 March 2012

ANCI and the three Italian unions CGIL, CISL and UIL have decided to develop a permanent discussion table on the topic of liberalisations of working hours and openings of stores, norm included in the “Salva Italia” act, on which it is necessary to reflect and evaluate also in regard to possible effects and implication.


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