The UK rail strikes has forced thousands of people to cancel Christmas parties and pubs and restaurants are expecting to lose up to 40% of bookings, which will see hospitality firms lose around £1.5 billion.
From Tuesday members of the Transport Salaried Staffs Association (TSSA) and the Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) unions will strike over pay and job conditions.
Kate Nicholls, chief executive of the industry group, said, “UKHospitality continues to anticipate that the rail strikes throughout December will cost hospitality businesses around £1.5 billion in lost sales and subsequent impacts.
“The most severe impact we’re seeing now is on consumer confidence and the growing cancellations businesses are seeing as a result of the strike.
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“Feedback we’re hearing from members is that cancellations were already around 20-30% and with the news of no breakthrough and additional strikes further impacting consumer confidence, we’re expecting that cancellation rate to rise to 35-40%.”
The RMT will strike on 13, 14, 16 and 17 December and then on Christmas Eve from 6pm until 7am on 27 December.
TSSA said that the Christmas strikes come gift wrapped from Rishi Sunak” and the Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) warned on Wednesday that a resolution to ending the strikes is now much further away.
TSSA interim general secretary, Frank Ward said, “This is devastating news for rail workers, passengers and the wider economy as it exposes the damage the Government is willing to do to working people.
“Rail workers and the industry have been put in an impossible position by the Tory government.
“Christmas chaos and disruption across our railways are now unfortunately guaranteed, and come gift wrapped from Rishi Sunak and his anti-worker Conservative government’s agenda.”