Unite Hospitality Branch position on proposed ‘Tips’ legislation

Unite met with the Tanaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Leo Varadkar TD, on Monday 17 January. 

Click here to read the position of the Hospitality Branch, here to read our statement issued following the meeting, and here to listen to an interview with Unite Hospitality Coordinator Julia Marciniak on Newstalk.

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Management serve notice to residents at Regina Coeli House terminating their license to occupy rooms

Workers enter ninth day of work-in to keep doors open on Northern Ireland’s sole women-only hostel

Online petition backing campaign to save women’s hostel surges past 10,000 signature mark

Workers at Regina Coeli House entered their ninth day of maintaining a service for residents despite a threat by management to close the facility. The women residents remaining in the building have refused to leave as they face a choice between entering mixed sex accommodation, which is inappropriate to their needs, or single unit temporary accommodation where they will be left without any support or access to onsite counselling services. 

Regina Coeli House has 21 beds and is Northern Ireland’s only women’s-only hostel. It provides support to homeless women, women who have been trafficked, the sexually abused, those suffering from addictions as well as survivors of domestic abuse.

In previous days, management at the Legion of Mary-owned facility have responded to the ‘work-in’ by suspending the workers. Today they delivered a written notice to the remaining residents terminating their license to occupy any room in the building. The letter claims that the ‘management committee can no longer provide the services for which they have been contracted by Northern Ireland Housing Executive’.

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Moy Park must put workers’ pay and terms and conditions before profits to end concerns for thousands of jobs

Decision to shutdown kill line at Ballymena reflects failure of management to meet post-Brexit labour market challenges

Union questions logic of suspension as business will face even greater problems recruiting to reopen in September

For the second time in three years, Moy Park has suspended the operation of its chicken kill line at Ballymena citing difficulties with raw materials, high energy costs and the loss of a recent contract. Unite challenged the explanation offered by the company and stated that the overriding reason for the closure was the chronic labour shortages that the company was experiencing. Union workforce reps are reporting a complete stalling of inductions as recruitment has stalled across the company.

Moy Park is Northern Ireland’s biggest employer and a hugely profitable company. The company’s latest filed accounts, for 2020, reported an increased profit of £86 million on turnover of £1.45 billion – with profits up by 15 percent on the previous year. Unite is calling for business to use these vast profits to improve the pay and conditions of its workforce to attract and retain new recruits as the only way to safeguard the current productive capacity of the business.

Unite General Secretary Sharon Graham said,

“Moy park management need to recognise that Brexit has completely changed the labour market in Northern Ireland. They cannot continue to offer low pay and poor working conditions and rely on overseas recruitment to fill the gaps resulting from high staff turnover. 

“This is a hugely successful company but instead of amassing more and more profits for shareholders, management need to increase pay and deliver real improvements to terms and conditions to avoid a damaging staffing crisis which will hugely impair their productive capacity.”

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Unite meets Tanaiste to discuss proposed tips legislation

Tip theft cheats workers and customers

Robust legislation would increase public confidence in sector

Trade union Unite, which represents workers in the hospitality sector, yesterday (Monday) met with the Tanaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Leo Varadkar to discuss the union’s concerns surrounding the proposed tips legislation.  Unite has been campaigning against the widespread practice of ‘tip theft’ which sees employers appropriate workers’ tips to meet general business running costs, including wages.  The meeting, which Unite described as constructive, was attended by Unite Hospitality and Tourism Coordinator Julia Marciniak and the union’s Hospitality Branch Secretary Karen Doyle. 

During the hour-long meeting, Unite stressed to the Tanaiste and his officials that the Government now had an opportunity to ring-fence tips for the benefit of workers, and that robust legislation would increase public confidence in the sector as it prepares to emerge from the pandemic.

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Unite serves notice of strike ballot of workers at Local Authorities, Education Authority and Housing Executive

Unite General Secretary Sharon Graham encourages local authority and education workers to vote for strike action

Northern Ireland Unite members to vote on industrial action alongside council workers in England and Wales

Union urges members to vote yes for 10 percent after strong rejection of employers’ insulting 1.75 percent pay offer

Unite today has served notice of a ballot of its members in Northern Ireland’s councils, the Education Authority and Housing Executive on strike action in pursuit of a 10 percent pay increase. The ballot will open on Monday 24th January and remain open for four weeks. 

The disaggregated strike ballot was called after the union rejected an insulting below-inflation 1.75 percent pay offer for 2020-2021. Workers are seeking a 10 percent increase to address historic wage erosion as pay deals have fallen ever further behind inflation. With the cost of living surging above seven percent in recent days, workers are desperate to defend themselves.

Any industrial action coming is likely to heavily impact waste collection services, school bus schedules and housing executive maintenance.

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