Hospitality workers locked into poor pay as lockdown eases, trade union says

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Hospitality Workers Locked Into Poor Pay As Lockdown Eases, Trade Union Says
The Unite union says workers are preparing to face poor conditions, as the public prepares to enjoy the reopening of outdoor cafes, restaurants and pubs. Photo: File photograph.
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Hospitality workers remain locked into low pay and poor working conditions as they return to work tomorrow, according to a trade union.

The Unite union says workers are preparing to face the poor conditions that characterise the sector, as the public prepares to enjoy the reopening of outdoor cafes, restaurants and pubs on Monday.

The union has launched a survey of hospitality and tourism workers which will run for the month of June, asking workers to outline their working conditions before and during the pandemic and to describe the arrangements made for a safe return to work.

Unite’s hospitality and tourism coordinator Julia Marciniak, a former hospitality worker, said the union wanted to encourage workers to speak up without fear of reprisal from management.

Service often comes with a side order of exploitation

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“From precarious contracts to low pay and tip theft, the hospitality sector was marked by poor working conditions before lockdown, and workers are facing the same conditions as hospitality venues reopen,” she said.

“In addition, many hospitality workers are concerned about inadequate Covid-safety precautions.

“As lockdown unwinds, too many hospitality workers remain locked out of decent work.

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“Unite’s survey of hospitality and tourism workers will run throughout the month of June, and we believe that the survey finding will uncover the real working conditions facing workers in the sector.

“The survey is completely confidential, so workers can speak up without fear of reprisal from management.

“We are all looking forward to outdoor hospitality reopening tomorrow, but hospitality workers would ask customers to remember that service often comes with a side order of exploitation – and to please remember to tip in cash,” she added.

The Unite survey can be accessed in English here and in Portuguese here.

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