The chief executives of nine major pub and bar chains have written to rail union boss Mick Lynch pleading with him to call off strikes and to not unleash a “devastating” impact hospitality.
The heads of Fuller’s, Young’s, Drake & Morgan and the City Pub Company were among those appealing to the RMT leader today.
This comes after union bosses announced on Tuesday that 40,000 of its members will walk out on 13, 14, 16, 17 December as well as 3, 4, 6, 7 January.
This coincides with the hospitality and retail sector’s busiest trading period.
Hospitality firms are also suffering because of high energy prices, with supply chains making food and drink more expensive, and consumer confidence at an all time low.
In the letter, the hospitality bosses say they have more than 30,000 employees, and “we write this letter with them in mind”.
They “rely on the boom from festive trading for working hours, pay and tips”.
“As we’re sure you’re aware, train strikes during the Christmas Party season disproportionately impact front line hospitality workers – costing our hard-working team members hours and highly valuable Christmas tips.”
Saying the four weeks before Christmas are a “large percentage of our team members’ annual income” they called on the strikes to be called off.
They also said the announcement on Tuesday led to a negative “impact on our Christmas bookings” which won’t be impacted by Covid restrictions for the first time.
“If these strikes are not called off imminently, this impact will be devastating.”
The pub bosses say they “admire your dedication to support your workers. But we hope you understand our need to do the same for our team members.
“We need a quick resolution to these strikes. And we need it right now.”
“We are calling on all parties to resolve this quickly and we hope that you, in your prime position, will do your bit to bring this dispute to a resolution as quickly as possible.”
The RMT has been approached for comment.
The full list of signatories are as follow
- Simon Emeny, Chief Executive, Fuller Smith & Turner PLC
- Simon Longbottom, Chief Executive, Stonegate Group
- Simon Dodd, CEO, Young and Co.’s Brewery PLC
- Charlie Gilkes, Co-Founder & CEO, Inception Group
- Jillian MacLean MBE, Chief Executive Officer, Drake & Morgan
- Ed Martin, Co-Founder, ETM Group
- Rob Pitcher, Chief Executive, Revolution Bars Group
- Nick Pring, Director, Urban Pubs & Bars
- Clive Watson, Chairman, City Pub Company