A proposed bylaw change would allow retail businesses to open on all nine statutory holidays: New Year's Day, Family Day, Good Friday, Easter Sunday, Victoria Day, Canada Day, Labour Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Toronto's economic development committee introduced the proposal in 2010.
Since then, there have been extensive public consultations with unions, religious groups and stakeholders — including four consultations across the city in the last year.
General manager Michael Williams says the committee will see the recommendations from those consultations on Oct. 16 and could approve the issue for city council to consider at a meeting on Oct. 30.
Kelly Canlan, a representative of the Canadian Auto Workers Local 414, says retail workers are generally paid minimum wage and need the time off from an erratic, week-to-week work schedule.
"Those nine days a year are the only guarantee that our workers will have time off from work. Those holidays are essential for them to maintain some degree of work-life balance," she said.
However, Anna Wong,20, a full-time student who has worked in retail for almost five years, said the proposal would allow workers to pick up more hours and increase their paychecks.
“There are always people who need the extra money. It would optional for employees so retail stores should plan in advance and not just schedule anyone to work.”