Disgraceful Assembly debate on licensing hours extension confirms Stormont Executive does not prioritise needs of hospitality workers

Neil Moore, Unite hospitality organiser

Amendments to include protections for bar and hospitality workers are ruled out of order by Assembly chair

Commenting on today’s Assembly debate on the Licensing and Registration of Clubs (Amendment) Bill, Neil Moore, Hospitality Organiser for Unite the Union said: 

“As the trade union for hospitality workers in Northern Ireland, Unite is very concerned that not one of the amendments discussed by the Assembly mentions the concerns of workers. It is hospitality workers who will have to deal with the consequences of the Executive’s significant and much-needed shakeup of licensing regulations. 

“Unite the union made representation to Stormont’s Communities Committee earlier this year when we raised concerns that the proposed extension to drinking-up time, alongside an extension to licensed hours, would see many workers finishing work a full ninety minutes later on nights where licensed hours are extended, reducing already unacceptable rest periods. 

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Motor Mechanics: Unite describes SIMI pay proposals as paltry

First pay rise in 13 years would do nothing to shrink gap with other trades

Only collectively negotiated agreements will secure future of the sector

Trade union Unite, which is organising motor mechanics throughout Ireland today (Sunday) said that proposals by employer body SIMI for pay increases of between €5 and €14 a week illustrate how out of touch SIMI are with the motor industry.  Pointing out that the proposed increase would leave qualified mechanics earning €316 a week less than a newly-qualified electrician, Unite Senior Regional Organiser Davy Kettyles warned that the motor mechanic trade would continue losing talent unless mechanics joint together to negotiate collectively with the employers and win similar terms and conditions to other trades:

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Sectoral Employment Orders: Unite welcomes Supreme Court decision upholding constitutionality of SEOs

June 18th: In an initial response to the Supreme Court decision issued today (Friday), Unite welcomed the ruling that Sectoral Employment Orders are constitutional.  The union said that this provides a firm foundation to develop existing SEOs and establish additional ones – thus expanding vital protections for workers.

Commenting, Regional Officer Tom Fitzgerald said:

“Sectoral Employment Orders are crucial in ensuring decent work throughout the construction sector, and it is therefore very welcome that the Supreme Court has upheld their constitutionality.

“It is nearly a year since the High Court struck down the electrical SEO, thus creating uncertainty for workers across the mechanical and construction sectors. Thanks to union pressure, a stay was put on the order and that remains in effect.  Today’s judgement now gives certainty to existing SEOs and offers an opportunity to build on them, expanding vital protections for workers.   

“Unite will continue organising not only to ensure that workers derive maximum benefits from existing Sectoral Employment Orders, but also to seek new SEOs”, Mr Fitzgerald concluded.

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As hospitality re-opens, workers remain locked out of decent work

Service comes with side order of exploitation

Unite survey aims to paint true picture of working conditions

As the public prepares to enjoy outdoor cafes, restaurants and pubs from tomorrow, trade union Unite today (Sunday) said that hospitality workers are preparing once again to face the poor working conditions and low pay which characterise the sector.

This week, the union launched a survey of hospitality and tourism workers which will run for the month of June.  The confidential survey asks workers to outline their working conditions before and during the pandemic, and what arrangements have been made for a safe return to work.  The survey can be accessed here and a Portuguese version is available here.

Unite’s Hospitality and Tourism Coordinator Julia Marciniak is herself a former hospitality worker and said:

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Thompsons Aero-seating announces a further 180 job losses due to Covid downturn: Stormont Executive must act to defend Aerospace jobs and skills

Kieran Ellison Unite Regional Officer

Union to engage with its membership at Craigavon and Banbridge sites on next steps in response to this opportunist attack on workers’ jobs

Unite challenges need for job losses as Chinese state-owned AVIC, which owns Thompson Aero-seating, reports continuing profits

Kieran Ellison, Regional Officer for Unite confirmed his union had been informed of approximately 180 redundancies at Thompson’s Aero-seating and would be engaging with his union’s membership on their response.

“Today’s announcement of 180 jobs – or approximately one-quarter of the workforce – will come as grim news to our members who work in Thompson’s Aero-seating in Craigavon and Banbridge. We will be engaging our members on our response to what is an entirely unnecessary attack on Northern Ireland workers and skills base. 

“Thompson’s Aero-seating is owned by Chinese state-owned aerospace and defence company AVIC. This is not a corporation which needs to make these redundancies to achieve profitability – in the midst of an unprecedented Covid downturn, AVIC has just reported £1.72 billion in profits in 2020. 

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