Labour has warned that over a million jobs in the hospitality sector are at risk of being lost if furlough is not extended, with the scheme currently set to end in April.
According to the Office for National Statistics, one in ten hospitality businesses believe that they may be making staff redundant over the next three months. Furthermore, the latest survey data has shown that a huge 39% of firms in the sector are at risk of insolvency.
Alongside this warning, Labour are calling for reforms on the scheme alongside its extension. This includes making conditions for employers to stop abuses and creating training schemes to create more skilled work once the pandemic is over.
Unite has expressed its support of this new position taken by Labour, with the national officer for hospitality Dave Turnbull commenting that it “broadly mirrors demands in our own hospitality rescue plan”, adding that “tourism and hospitality are vital to the UK economy, therefore all measures to ensure staff and skills retention based on decent terms and conditions beyond April need to be taken as a matter of urgency.”
With this huge risk just around the corner for millions of British workers, it is a relief to see Labour holding the Tories to account on this issue, something which, broadly speaking, they have failed to adequately do since the change in leadership last April.
We must remember that the Tories will not change tact unless they are pressured to do so; this means that we, the trade union movement, the workers and progressives across the country, must stand up for jobs, pay and dignity. We must stand in solidarity with one another and our class, especially in the face of a threat on this scale to workers in Britain.
Therefore, whilst young communists obviously welcome these statements from Labour, we must also see that they are not enough. We, the organised working-class, must also take action to fight back.
Statements from Labour are good. However, an organised working-class is better.