Following in the success of the Better than Zero Campaign, Unite the Union successfully launched their Fair Hospitality Charter to improve the rights of Hospitality workers last Friday.

There are currently 256,000 Hospitality workers in Scotland, this charter not only gives a voice to those workers but also provides a challenge to hotels, restaurants and bars across Scotland.

There are more than 153,000 people on zero-hours contracts in Scotland which translates to 9% of the total employed population, our workers deserve better. Young hospitality workers just like everyone else deserve guaranteed minimum hours each week to pay their bills and live, not exploitative zero-hours contracts. Our workers deserve a living wage to get by and not just feel as though they are working to survive.

Last Friday, ahead of the campaign launch I met up with Unite the Union and some of their Hospitality member representatives. I was appalled to hear of instances where young workers as young as 16-17 have experienced sexual harassment in the workplace. In other cases, there have been managers taking tips from staff and others where employers have explicitly told their staff that they cannot talk to or join a union.

The Labour Party has a strong history in standing up and speaking out on behalf of and with workers across the country. Together, through the Labour movement we have successfully introduced the minimum wage, enshrining in law equality of opportunity, among many more achievements. It’s now time for us to unite again and stand up for fairness and equality of the Hospitality workers.

I signed the Fair Hospitality Charter on behalf of the Scottish Labour Party and here are 3 ways in which you too can help and show your support:

Spread the word with friends and family who work in hospitality that they now have a trade union home in Unite Hospitality.

Contact your constituency and regional MSP and tell them to show their support in signing the Fair Hospitality Charter and support Richard Leonard’s Motion at Holyrood, Motion Number: S5M-05260

Contact your local councillor and tell them why it’s an innovative idea to embed the Charter within the required business practices of local licensing authorities.

You can find out more about the Unite the Union’s Hospitality Charter and the campaign here

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