The Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) have warned that the hospitality sector will lose more than “£2 billion in revenue” as the government are losing control of escalating strike action in December.
Around 10 industry sectors are on strike this December which is affecting the NHS, civil servants, airports and rail.
The rail strikes has hit the hospitality sector more so than any other industry it has been claimed and during the pandemic pubs, bars and restaurants were the first to close.
Hospitality chiefs have warned that the series of rail strikes before Christmas will put “hundreds of thousands” of “jobs at risk” as there will be a drop in sales.
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Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union are set to strike December 13, 14, 16 and 17 and on January 3, 4, 6 and 7, which involves 14 train companies and 40,000 workers.
Michael Kill CEO NTIA said, “Its abundantly clear the Government has lost control, strike action has overshadowed the first Christmas period we have had to celebrate with some normality in over 3 years.”
“Businesses are already seeing a 30% downturn in trade due to transport challenges and changing weather, with festive bookings being cancelled daily and party sizes reducing as we move into the heart of the festive period.”
“It is estimated that businesses will lose over £2 Billion in revenue during this period, vital revenue that will help them survive in the early part of 2023.”
“The Government cannot ignore the escalating situation any longer. As more unions join the UK wide industrial action bringing the country closer to a stand still.”
“Our sector is one of the hardest hit by the rail strikes, first to close and last to open during the pandemic. The current circumstances are critically impacting businesses and will require a Government intervention and further support for businesses at the sharpest end of this crisis.”
Kate Nicholls, chief executive for the UKHospitality trade body, warned that this will cause a “huge drop in sales” for the sector.
She said, “Continued rail strikes have had a huge impact on our hospitality sector; preventing staff from making it into work and disrupting consumers’ plans meaning a huge drop in sales for venues across the sector.
“Further strikes during the busiest time of the year for hospitality will be devastating, just as everyone was anticipating an uninterrupted Christmas period for the first time in three years.
“I’d encourage all parties to come together to find a resolution that can avoid further strikes and the disruption they cause both businesses and the public.”