Published on Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Hotel workers call for an end to zero hours contracts

Trade union Unite union is calling on the UK hotel industry to abolish zero hours contracts, following the move by one of the leading suppliers of hospitality and housekeeping services.

WGC is giving more than 5,000 workers employed as housekeepers, room attendants and porters in hotels across the country the option to move to guaranteed minimum hour contracts from November 1.

The news came as Unite teamed up with unions from around the world to mark Global Hotel Housekeepers week from October 9 to 14, which is a worldwide event to campaign for dignity and safe work for hotel housekeepers.

United regional office Dave Turnbull said: "WGC's decision to abolish zero hours contracts shows that improving working conditions and security for UK hotel workers can be done. Now we need the rest of the industry to follow its lead.

"The issue of guaranteed hours was something we had been raising with WGC for some time on behalf of our members and addressing this is one of the joint aims of the agreement we signed with the company. We therefore welcome the positive strides WGC is taking to address matters such as this.

"Its decision to ban zero hours contracts along with the creation of joint union/company forums and the launch of jointly sponsored English language lessons for migrant workers within WGC, shows that when unions and employers work together constructively within this sector, workers and business benefit."

Unite is concerned about the potential exploitation of housekeeping staff because of the business model used by global hotel chains, where tenders are based on the minimum wage and contractors are expected to invoice by the number of rooms cleaned, rather than the number of workers employed and hours worked.

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