Unite, the UK’s leading hospitality union, has today (Tuesday 21 December) hit out at the support package announced by the chancellor for the beleaguered sector.

According to Unite, the package could mean as little as £50 per worker for an average four-star hotel and will be insufficient to see the sector through this latest wave of the crisis.

Sharon Graham, Unite general secretary, said: “Workers did not create this pandemic and they must not pay the price for it in wage cuts and ultimately in losing their jobs. It is unacceptable that thousands of young workers face such awful uncertainty – they need to know now that they can pay their rent and that they still have a job. Today’s measures do not guarantee either. It looks like we are in ‘too little too late territory’ here.”

Dave Turnbull, Unite national officer for the hospitality sector, added: “This funding may well be too late and is far too little to save many in the hospitality sector.  For too many, the lockdown by stealth has wiped out this season and the future looks extremely uncertain. This must not be the last word from Rishi Sunak and the government on this matter. We need to hear that there will be more support to pay workers’ wages.”

Bryan Simpson, Unite hospitality industrial organiser, said: “We are already aware of workers being sent home without pay as customers stay at home. This is an intolerable position to put workers in. Providing an average of £50 per worker is not going to stabilise this sector. It is a scandal. We need furlough, not grants for bosses, to ensure that workers’ wages are paid. Workers in this sector are having sleepless nights and feel abandoned by this government.”


During the coronavirus crisis Unite is working to keep workers and the public safe, to defend jobs and to protect incomes.

For media enquires ONLY contact Unite communications officer Ryan Fletcher on 07849 090215.   

Email: [email protected]  

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Unite is Britain and Irelands largest union with members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Sharon Graham.