'Shame' award for hotel tycoon over lack of wo...

‘Shame’ award for hotel tycoon over lack of workers’ rights at prestige London hotels

25 April 2016

Billionaire hotel tycoon, Gabriel Escarrer is being called to account today (Monday 25 April) about the shoddy way staff are treated at his three UK luxury hotels when he is guest speaker at a London hospitality awards ceremony.

Dozens of protesters will be at tonight's annual British Travel and Hospitality Hall of Fame awards at the Dorchester Hotel to present founder of Melia Hotels International, Gabriel Escarrer with his own ‘Hall of Shame’ award over the shoddy treatment of the chain’s UK workforce. 

WHEN: Monday 25 April at 18.45
WHERE: Dorchester Hotel, 53 Park Lane, London W1K 1QA

Unite, the country’s biggest union, has accused Melia Hotels International - one of the world’s largest hotel chains - of gross hypocrisy for promoting itself as a socially responsible and ethical employer, while denying its UK workforce the same trade union rights enjoyed by workers in other countries where the company operates. 

In 2013, Melia Hotels, which operates three hotels in the UK, signed an agreement with the IUF ((The International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Workers Associations) promising to respect workers’ rights and allow trade unions access to its workplaces worldwide. 

Unite has warned that the company’s failure to honour its global agreements in the UK will not go unchallenged and is urging Melia to work with the union. 

Rhys McCarthy, Unite national officer said: “When Melia Hotels International signed a global trade union rights agreement with the IUF, we were full of optimism. Finally, here was a company that would take an ethical stance by setting a new benchmark for constructive relationships with their employees’ trade union.

“But instead of being a standard-bearer for ethical practice, it has adopted the exploitative business model of poverty pay and zero hours contracts that has tainted the UK hotel sector for decades. 

“Far from being a socially responsible and ethical employer, Melia stands accused of denying its UK workforce their most basic human rights, including their right to engage in trade union organising activity.

“Sadly our members feel badly let down, their attempts to organise freely to challenge unfair tipping practices, low pay and zero hour contracts has led to widespread victimisation with staff feeling bullied for raising legitimate grievances. 

“Melia needs to stop seeing Unite as the enemy within and start working with us to address our members’ concerns.  We are calling on Gabriel Escarrer to personally intervene and honour his global agreements here in the UK.”

The Spanish-based owners of Melia Hotels International currently has three hotels in the UK; ME London Hotel in the Strand and the White House, Regents Park and Innside by Melia in Manchester. 


For more information please contact, Unite campaigns officer Chantal Chegrinec on 07774146777 

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  • Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey