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  • Writer's pictureIWW Ireland

Hospitality Workers: Wage Shortage Not Labour Shortage!

Throughout Galway City, County and Connacht entire businesses in the catering and hospitality industry are failing to hire enough employees to ensure their businesses fully staffed. Just as in the rest of Ireland and Europe, the bosses are all saying the same thing - "nobody wants to work anymore!”.

Tourism and Restaurant industry lobbyists have been on RTE Radio One to call for the immediate halting of PUP payments. Threatening workers with poverty to force them back into jobs that pay well below a living wage. Then in the very next breath the same cheerleaders for the business community demand that the government continue to give welfare payments to hospitality business owners.

There can be no clearer example of how business owners in this sector will campaign and fight to keep the money flowing into their own pockets at the expense of the workers. Those who do the actual work that make the businesses run which brings in the money in the first place.

A spokesperson for the Industrial Workers of the World in Galway said that: “When workers talk about why we are so slow to return to the catering industry, we tell a very different story. We don't talk about not wanting to work. We talk about the poor conditions, the terrible bosses, the unpredictable hours, the blatant disregard for health and safety, and even basic workers rights.

“We talk about the sexual harassment from both bosses and customers alike. We talk about the pitiful wages with no sick pay or overtime rates. The time off and holidays denied for the sake of the bosses profits. We talk about the constant squeezing of every last bit of time and energy from us by people who will replace us in an instant, without a second thought. If we're "all a family" like the bosses would like us to believe, then that's a very strange way to treat your family members.

“The employers and media want to call it a "labour shortage" but we need to call it what it really is: a Wage Shortage!

“People are slow to return to the catering and hospitality industry because the impact on their personal lives, their health and general well-being is not worth the low wages they get in return or the effort of dealing with industry practices that belong in a Dickens novel.

Now more than ever as workers within that industry, we need to come together and not allow employers or business owners to threaten us, to abuse us and continue to pay low wages. We need to work together, stand up for each other and regain our dignity as workers. We can do that in a worker led union - a union such as the Industrial Workers of the World.”

Let's Get Galway Unionised. Let's get Connacht Unionised. Let's get Ireland Unionised!

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