Without supports latest shutdown by Stormont Executive will result in a second wave of redundancies and reductions to incomes
Existing UK government’s job support scheme provides hospitality workers with only two thirds of their average hourly wage of £8.84
Speaking ahead of an official announcement of the closure of the hospitality sector expected later this morning. Neil Moore, Unite Organiser for the hospitality sector commented:
“Hospitality workers woke up this morning to news of a second lockdown, there’s mass anxiety around jobs and livelihoods from workers who feel they are being kicked whilst they are down and will once again be made to pay the price for this global pandemic
“Unite estimates that while one in eight jobs in the sector have already been lost; one in six of those who remain could lose their jobs in the next six months as businesses warn of up to 40,000 job losses as they are set to fail given lockdown measures and further restrictions on the hospitality sector.
“Whilst hospitality workers understand that this pandemic needs urgent action to prevent transmission spiralling out of control, any ‘circuit breaker’ or further restrictions being implemented without a safety net for workers will spell disaster.
“Half-baked lockdown measures will not have the desired effect. The politicians have failed to control the virus and hospitality workers feel they are being punished for their failures. Many will face redundancy or having to survive on two-thirds of the paltry minimum wage ahead of Christmas.
“There must be consistency going forward in restrictions and additional health & safety requirements, ensuring they are evidence-based, clear, properly enforced and put public health before private profit.
“The Northern Ireland Executive must act to protect workers as Westminster’s Job Support Scheme is not fit for purpose. We need the immediate rollout of a direct supports for workers which cover at least 80% of their wages.
“Unite is bringing forward proposals for a ‘Hospitality Rescue Package’ to save jobs, skills and livelihoods in this sector. These are reasonable, necessary and are what workers deserve in this face of this crisis”, Mr Moore concluded.