The president of the Portuguese Association of Commercial Centres, António Sampaio de Mattos, warned that the closure of shooping centres on Sundays would cost tens of thousands of jobs.
"The impact of such a closure would be that very close to 20% of the current jobs would end," said Sampaio de Mattos, in an interview with Jornal de Negócios on Monday.
"They say, to back up plans for Sunday closing, that in shopping centres, employees do not have weekends. Obviously, the people who work in the shopping centres have five days work, like all other Portuguese people," explained the association president.
"What they do not have is two days of rest on Saturday and Sunday. But this happens with doctors, with nurses, with transport, with the police, with a multitude of activities that have the same problem," says APCC president.
António Mattos also reminds that closing on Sunday would also have an impact on sales.
"It is clear that some of missed Sunday sales could be distributed on other days, but not all. Sunday is the third best day of the week for sales in shopping centres. The best day is Saturday, the second is Friday, and the third is Sunday," commented António Sampaio de Mattos
The discussion on the closure of shopping centres on Sundays began after the Bishop of Porto said this was a good idea.
Bishop Manuel da Silva Rodrigues Linda, criticised the, "new slavery of continuous labour."
"The richest countries in the world do not open supermarkets on Sunday," said the Bishop, seemingly unaware that Portugal is well down the worldwide rich list at number 54, in terms of GDP per capita.