Unite demands hospitality support package be brought forward today
- Thursday 16 December 2021
Unite is calling for a hospitality support package to be brought forward urgently amid a skyrocketing increase in Omicron cases, which has abruptly precipitated mass cancellations in bookings.
Businesses in the sector typically make 50 per cent of their entire income in December alone. One hospitality industry body reported they expect December takings to be down by an astonishing 40 per cent – and likely double this figure in London.
Although prime minister Boris Johnson has not as yet announced any additional restrictions on business such as pubs, clubs, restaurants and other hospitality venues, the huge damage to consumer confidence as Omicron cases spread exponentially has in reality left the sector no better off than under a strict lockdown.
This is why the hospitality industry needs government support now, Unite has said, with any support conditional on businesses keeping workers on decent pay and conditions.
Unite's hospitality sector highlighted that the previous furlough scheme kept workers on 80 per cent of their wages, leaving millions of mostly minimum and low-wage earners in hospitality short. Any new wage support package must keep workers on 100 per cent of their wages.
Commenting, Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “The government must bring forward a package of support for hospitality workers today. The uncertainty the prime minister is causing is devastating – workers don’t know if they will even have a job to go to next week. This is an appalling position to put people in.
“Hospitality workers did not cause this crisis and they should not be the ones who pay for it. They still have rent to find and bills to pay but are seeing their incomes disappear before their eyes. They need help now.”