Members of the IUF’s UK-affiliate Unite employed in hotels, restaurants, bars, clubs and contract catering protested in London yesterday on the occasion of the 2nd Hospitality and Tourism Summit. While industry leaders from many major hospitality sector companies attending the summit were calling for more recognition of an industry they say will create 300,000 new jobs by 2020, workers were asking – “What kind of jobs?”
According to Unite’s experience this is an industry plagued by low pay, workplace bullying and exploitation of migrant workers. Despite the ongoing growth and profitability there is not one major hotel or restaurant chain that currently pays its lowest paid staff the London Living Wage of £8.55.
Union leaders also say workers face bullying and harassment on a regular and consistent basis.
Unite says that if employers genuinely want to make hospitality an industry of the future they must address the core issues of decent pay, dignity in the workplace and respect for workers’ rights.