GMB Union, which represents thousands of workers in the hospitality sector, has expressed its fears for the industry and the workers employed in it as Tier 3 restrictions take hold.
The impact of the restrictions, which are likely to be introduced in Yorkshire next week, will be catastrophic for much of the hospitality industry.
The lead up to Christmas and New Year is the busiest time for pubs, restaurants and hotels and to force them to close will spell the end of the road for many smaller businesses, resulting in even more job losses across the region.
These businesses haven’t recovered from the earlier lockdown and it had been hoped that opening up again in December would have at least given the businesses and their workers some income. But sadly, this glimmer of hope has today been taken away with the news that Yorkshire is likely to be in Tier 3 lockdown measures next week.
GMB Senior Organiser for Yorkshire & North Derbyshire, Sue Wood, said:
“It really just isn’t practical for pubs and restaurants to operate a ‘takeaway’ service only.
“Many hotels rely on weddings, meetings and functions, these just haven’t been able to take place during 2020, forcing already low paid employees into poverty. A lot of hospitality staff are employed on a casual or zero-hour contract and these people have been left unable to receive money through the Furlough Scheme.
“As a union, GMB is receiving many calls from worried members who work in hospitality who really don’t know how they will be able to put food on the table for their own families over the festive season.
“Our members are telling us they are turning to food banks and charities to help them through this time. This cannot be right in Yorkshire in 2020.
“Whilst everyone agrees controlling the pandemic must be our number one priority, GMB is calling on the Government to look at the areas that have lost out disproportionately during the pandemic, in particular the hospitality sector.”
The Government’s ‘Eat Out to Help Out Scheme’ did benefit some pubs and restaurants during August, but it is long term support these businesses and our members need right now. Unfortunately, it appears today’s spending review has offered little hope to an already struggling sector.”