Unite issues letter to Hastings Group warning of potential litigation over mass redundancy threat

Hospitality bosses are warned that large-scale job losses will result in a mass exodus of skilled workers from sector

Unite survey showed that 71 percent of hospitality workers would not return to the industry if made redundant

Neil Moore, Unite Hospitality Organiser

Against a backdrop of fears that up to a 20,000 hospitality workers in Northern Ireland could be made jobless by August, Unite has issued a letter warning of potential litigation to Hastings Hotels, one of the region’s biggest hotel chains. 

The letter questions whether proposals for mass redundancies are lawful, when furlough under the government’s Coronavirus Jobs Retention Scheme is still available and the union has warned that it will not shy away from issuing more legal challenges to hospitality bosses.

Neil Moore, Unite Organiser for the Hospitality sector said:

Within minutes of Economy Minister Diane Dodds announcing dates for the reopening of the hospitality sector, while standing on steps of a Hastings Hotel, workers for the same group received notice that they faced potential redundancy.

“Union members at Hastings have reported to Unite that they feel there is a lack of meaningful engagement regarding potential redundancies and not enough is being done to avoid job losses. Workers cannot understand why jobs are under threat now given the ongoing available subvention from HMRC until October.

“The union has warned that the industry risks a mass exodus of skills from the sector which will make the recovery more difficult. A straw poll of 400 Unite members working in hospitality and at risk of redundancy revealed that 71 per cent will not return to work to the industry, and that 63 per cent would not recommend hospitality as a career choice for school leavers”, Mr Moore concluded.

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