31 May, 2014

The Sunday rest could be still a sensitive issue in the new city council

Le travail dominical reste une question sensible. La demande de dérogation posée par un concessionnaire automobile pour le 15 juin a été retirée de l'ordre du jour du dernier conseil municipal d'Angers. 

Sunday as a no working day looks to be still a very sensitive issue in Angers city council in spite of the change of majority. On May 26th, about 114 issues were on the agenda of the assembly and the last one was a request set by a single company and for one person for an exemption of the Sunday rest. Usually, the last issue debated by a municipal assembly does not usually get the attention and the time of the decision-makers. In fact the issue got it before the session started.  The Sas Toyota France was said to sollicit that dispensation for June 15th. The question has even not be examined. It was withdrawn for the city council agenda and the last minute.  

One year ago, after a supermarket Leclerc of Saint-Jean-de-Linières, a neighbouring village of Angers, started to open its food department. That decision triggered a protest from local trade-union and after that, a debate inside the board of Angers Loire Métropole then the intervention of the Maine-et-Loire prefecture. During the electoral campaign, the former mayor, Frédéric Béatse said it was open-minded about the issue and open to pragmatism. His challenger, Christophe Béchu, now Angers mayor, was also prone to soft the local regulations about the ability for Angers retail stores to open a few Sundays every year, and especially those before Christmas.

Apparently, the new Angers decision-makers want to take time for a thorough analysis because of the political risks the Sunday stores openings are holders. On economical standpoint, the debate looks sorted. On the Feast of the Ascension, which was not a Sunday, many shops were opened in down town as well as supermarkets on the morning and apparently with customers inside. In that matter, local authorities do not have to be in late compared to the inhabitants way of life. Taking the initiative, they could also be in advance compared to the French government. 

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