Harris & Hoole coffee shop

Unite has warned that a recruitment and staff turnover crisis in the hospitality industry would get worse post-Brexit

Unite, the union, has called for hospitality businesses to deal with the issues of low pay and exploitative practices.

The union, which represents staff in the sector such as coffee shop workers, is calling for a conversation to tackle the problems of low pay, zero-hour contracts and a bullying culture, which it believes is rife in the industry.

Protesters took their message to the British Hospitality Association’s annual hospitality and tourism summit in London yesterday(6 June). Protesters were seeking to highlight that the £900 ticket price being charged for the event is equivalent to the monthly take-home pay of a waiter being paid the national living wage of £7.50 an hour.

Unite also said that the recruitment and staff turnover crisis in the industry would get worse post-Brexit.

“The problem is not just that people perceive these jobs to be low-paid and exploitative. The problem is that this is very much the reality and that is what needs to change,” said Rhys McCarthy, Unite national officer for the services sector.

“Plans for a two-year barista visa for low-skilled workers with even less rights will exacerbate the problems around exploitation, while the industry continues to rake in multibillion-pound profits.

“The real conversation in hospitality needs to be around how the industry tackles the low pay, zero-hours and exploitative culture which has been allowed to take root over many decades, because without a commitment to improve pay and working conditions nothing will change.”