Timed to coincide with the UN’s COP26 meeting on measures to reverse the climate crisis, IUF UK affiliate Unite the Union convened activists and members, together with IUF affiliates from around the world in-person and on-line, to discuss steps forward on sustainable tourism including:
- How Unite’s hospitality branches across the UK are organizing new hotel workers
- The fight for justice within international hotel chains including IHG and Marriott
- The promotion of Unite’s new Fair Hospitality Charter
- The ongoing campaign to combat sexual harassment and gender-based violence
Climate change activists joined trade unionists to strategize how the two movements can and must work together; after the meetings, participants took to the streets in front of Voco Grand Central, IHG’s flagship hotel in Glasgow, to protest the company’s refusal to adopt “Safe Home” policies to pay workers for their transportation home when working late shifts.
As Unite Hospitality Scotland Representative Caitlin Lee stated, “Exploitation in hospitality is a global issue, with working conditions driven down by multi-national chains working together to minimize labour costs and maximize profits. The most effective antidote to this is international organizing to challenge unscrupulous practices and drive-up standards across the world. Our alternative COP26 conference is just a flavour of things to come.”