UKHospitality has urged the government, railway unions and corporations to swiftly reconvene discussions in attempt to settle the ongoing train strikes.
The industry body is highlighting the fact that hospitality businesses and their employees are enduring unintended consequences due to prolonged rail strikes that have persisted for over a year.
Kate Nicholls, Chief Executive of UKHospitality, said:
“The elephant in the room is the complete lack of progress made in recent months by the negotiating parties and it’s time that everyone involved get back round the table to reach a resolution that sees the end to rail strikes.”
This recent involvement follows the Transport Committee's suggestion that industries incapable of implementing flexible or remote work arrangements on strike days, such as the hospitality sector and the nighttime economy, should receive safeguarding through minimum service level provisions.
“While the Transport Committee is absolutely right to point out that sectors acutely affected by rail strikes, like hospitality, are properly considered and protected by future legislation, the real priority needs to be reaching a resolution to the current dispute.
This is especially important for hospitality, as we approach the busy Christmas period, the revenues of which are often crucial to help venues through the fallow period of January to March.”
The ongoing industrial dispute, which commenced in June last year, has inflicted significant repercussions on the hospitality sector.
UKHospitality had previously estimated that these strikes have incurred losses of approximately £3.5 billion for the industry. Some businesses, such as the steakhouse chain Hawksmoor, have resorted to offering special meal deals on strike days in an attempt to entice diners.
There are further strike actions scheduled in the upcoming weeks, with train drivers planning to go on strike on Saturday 30 September and Wednesday 4 October.
Additionally, the Aslef union has announced an overtime restriction from 29 September to 6 October causing disruption to rail travel for over a week.
Kate Nicholls added:
“Without an urgent end to this dispute, the £3,5 billion that hospitality has lost in sales will only continue to grow and that is not good for the thousands of hospitality businesses and the millions of people they employ."