In December and January, the UK rail union, RMT, will conduct a series of 48-hour strikes over wages and working conditions, with strikes scheduled for 13-14 and 16-17 December, and 3-4 and 6-7 January. In addition, there will be a restriction on overtime on all railroads from December 18 to January 2.
Kate Nicholls, the chief executive of UKHospitality, stated that strikes preventing staff from making it to work and disrupting consumers’ plans would result in a “huge” drop in sales for venues and be “devastating” to businesses during the busiest time of the year, “just as everyone was anticipating an uninterrupted Christmas period for the first time in three years.”
Michael Kill, CEO of the Night-Time Industries Association (NTIA), said that strike action over the holiday season would be “catastrophic” for night-time firms and that ongoing strikes were “eroding customer trust.”
“Our industry is already suffering heavily from rising costs, as inflation reaches a 40-year high, consumer disposable income is at an all-time low, coupled with rail strike action feel we are revisiting Christmas 2021. This year more than any other, we are heavily reliant on this period to get through Q1 2023,” he said.
Emma McClarkin, chief executive of the British Beer & Pub Association, said that pubs would depend on the holiday season to get them through the tough winter months and that pubs in city and town centers will be affected by strikes.
“The week of the strikes is usually the busiest in the year for our industry, but instead of supporting pubs, customers will be cancelling and staying home, whilst staffing shortages will be exacerbated by a lack of transport options for employees. Our industry desperately needs this Christmas boost, we urgently need the resolution to reinstate train services and ensure that customers and staff can travel easily and confidently, or the impact on trade will be catastrophic,” Emma said.
RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said: “This latest round of strikes will show how important our members are to the running of this country and will send a clear message that we want a good deal on job security, pay, and, conditions for our people.
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