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Unite calls on Holyrood to support charter for workers...

Unite calls on Holyrood to support charter for workers’ rights

13 June 2017

WHERE: Committee room 6 (The Livingstone room), Scottish parliament, Edinburgh, EH99 1SP 
WHEN: Thursday 15 June, 14:00-16:00

Unite, Scotland’s biggest union, will ask MSPs to pledge their support for a worker’s charter that seeks to improve the pay and conditions of workers in the hospitality sector.

Unite will launch the Fair Hospitality campaign on Thursday (15 June), giving a voice to Scotland’s 256,000 hospitality workers, and is asking MSPs to pledge their support to transform the sector for the better.

MSPs will hear, first-hand, the plight of workers employed within restaurants, hotels, cafes and bars who are some of the most exploited in the economy, with many employed on less than £7 an hour.

The Fair Hospitality campaign seeks to equip precarious workers with the knowledge to access their employment rights, provide them with the skills to organise colleagues as well as encouraging a collective confidence to challenge some of Scotland’s most exploitative employers; transforming the hospitality sector for those who work within it.

The centrepiece of Unite’s campaign is the Fair Hospitality charter which is a list of reforms needed to transform the sector for the benefit of employees and customers. The list includes the real living wage, an end to discriminatory youth wage rates and stricter anti-sexual harassment policies for the workplace.

Unite Scotland’s hospitality sector organiser Bryan Simpson said: “Hospitality workers are the lowest paid and most precariously employed workers within the Scottish economy. More than 25 per cent of companies in the sector employ workers on zero hours contracts with a significant number of workers earning below the minimum wage. This combination of poor pay and job insecurity is exploitative and demeaning to our members who do a fantastic job day in day out.

“Unite’s Fair Hospitality campaign seeks to transform the sector for the better by equipping workers with the knowledge they need about their rights at work as well as instilling a collective confidence to challenge bad employers.

“The outcome of last week’s general election, and the part played by young people in delivering the biggest political shake-up in generations, shows that young people have had enough of Tory austerity. This charter lays the foundations for a fight back.”

ENDS

For further information contact Bryan Simpson on 07891 118390 or email bryan.simpson@unitetheunion.org

Notes to editors

  • The charter was launched on 25 May. The political launch will take place at Holyrood on 15 June in the Livingstone Room from 14:00-16:00. MSPs will hear from experts and workers for the need for a voluntary charter of worker’s rights for the hospitality sector. MSPs from SNP, Labour and the Greens have pledged their support and are due to speak at the launch alongside leading economists and young workers who work in hospitality.
  • Journalists are invited to attend the event as part of the photo-call with MSPs from 14:00 in the Livingstone room. 
  • Unite Scotland is the country’s biggest and most diverse trade union with 150,000 members across the economy. The union is led in Scotland by Pat Rafferty. 
  • Twitter: @FairHospitality   Facebook: UniteHospitality   Web: www.fairhospitality.org