Frontline workers in bars, restaurants and hotels likely to be thrown into misery by latest closure, coming after months of reduced hours and being paid only 80 percent of an already low wage
Following today’s Executive announcement that hospitality businesses are to face takeaway-only restrictions or closure from Friday, Unite members working in hospitality issued a demand for a package guaranteeing full wage supports to be announced by the Stormont Executive.
Unite Hospitality organiser in Northern Ireland, Neil Moore, expressed his union’s dismay at today’s announcement and called for full wage supports.
“For the second time in six months hospitality workers have been hung out to dry. Many of our members were forced into debt during the previous period of closure when they received a bare 80% of what were already low wages. This pittance will force many more into poverty and struggling to put food on the table. We have had members on the phone today having to cancel fuel orders; worried about paying their mortgages; or rent never mind how they can deliver a Christmas for their kids.
“Our members made clear to us today that a rescue package must be put in place that focuses on workers – not simply employers. With the additional funding promised, Stormont must step up and do their part – that means a guarantee to properly support hospitality workers’ incomes. Our members can’t survive on a ‘portion’ of a minimum wage.
“Additional supports are also needed for the hospitality industry, made contingent on bosses keeping workers in jobs, protecting their full wage and preventing a round of hidden job losses through ‘redundancy by zero-hours’ or fire/rehire arrangements”, he said.