Feature

Where Sunday is no longer a day of rest.

The week's news at a glance.

Ireland

Allison Bray
Irish Independent

Chalk up another casualty to capitalism, said Allison Bray in Dublin’s Irish Independent. A weekly day of rest, which even the less observant among us always held sacred, is no longer the norm in Ireland. Nearly half of workers now report for duty on Sundays and holidays. This is a “sea change in the work/leisure patterns of modern Ireland”—and it’s all happened blindingly fast. Just a decade ago, virtually everyone but the priests had Sunday off. These days, consumers expect shops to be open all weekend. And once the retailers adopted extended hours, manufacturers began to ask themselves why they shouldn’t schedule weekend factory shifts. Some workers are furious. In 1995, when Sunday shopping was first introduced, workers were given three times their normal pay “to work antisocial hours.” Not anymore. Most are lucky to get even time-and-a-half for weekend work. Worse than the drop in pay, though, is the loss of family time. When families can’t even count on one day a week at home together, can we really call our country “socially enlightened?”

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