TALLINN – Elle Putsepp, chairman of the Estonian Service and Trade Workers Union, said that in the current situation, shortening store opening hours is fully justified and should be done nationwide.
"The current situation, where some stores have decided to shorten their opening hours and some have not, causes confusion for shoppers," Putsepp said in a press release, adding that, as soon as the virus outbreak accelerates, all stores except grocery stores and pharmacies should be closed.
According to Putsepp, shortening the opening hours of shopping centers and stores will help minimize the spread of the virus as this would allow for more thorough cleaning and disinfection of sales areas with sufficient thoroughness.
"This would also provide an opportunity to fill the shelves while avoiding contact with customers and better protect the health of both store staff and customers," Putsepp said, recommending that customers opt for the use of bank cards and contactless payment when making purchases to minimize direct contact.
In addition, trade workers call on their employers to treat their employees with care and not terminate employment contracts lightly. "There is a great deal of uncertainty and concern about the future among workers, and one of the biggest fears is the use of section 37 of the Employment Contracts Act, which allows the employee to be placed on minimum wage," Putsepp said.