• Beer drought threat after drivers vote in favour of strike over ‘paltry’ pay
The threat of a beer drought later this month (August) increased as about 1,000 draymen, who deliver brands including Heineken, voted for industrial action over a ‘paltry’ pay offer. Union unite said there will be two 24-hour strikes with the first starting at 10am on Tuesday 24 August and the second at 10am on Thursday 2 September.
The strikes will be accompanied by an overtime ban and work to rule, from Tuesday 24 August until Monday 15 November.
Unite said its members, employed by GXO Logistics Drinks (previously XPO Logistics Drinks) are based at 26 sites and are responsible for about two fifths (40%) of the beer deliveries to pubs and other hospitality venues across the country.A GXO Logistics Drinks spokesperson said the company favoured dialogue in all its negotiations and outlined its stance on the strike action.
They added: “Discussions are ongoing in order to reach agreement, in particular for the hospitality sector that is only now emerging from the impact of the Covid-19 lockdown.”
• Vote: Are you seeing delayed beer deliveries?
As a result of HGV driver shortages and other issues in the sector, we are asking you to tell us if you’re being impacted by delays in beer deliveries by voting in our poll
• Hospitality sector accused of ‘shooting itself in the foot’ by paying minimum wage
The hospitality sector, including the pub trade, has been accused of “shooting itself in the foot” by continuing to pay staff the minimum wage.
Sacha Lord, night-time economy adviser for Greater Manchester, has told the industry it needs to look at what it offers or it will lose workers to other better paid industries.
He urged operators to look and re-evaluate the salaries they are offering staff to compete with other industries and survive.
Lord added: “As we rebuild, we can’t now expect the youngest and hardest hit by the pandemic to be satisfied with minimum wage roles, when they can earn higher salaries elsewhere in office work or in retail.”
• Spending in pubs up by almost a third compared to 2019
A report from Barclaycard revealed there was a 30.5% rise in consumer spending in pubs, bars and clubs for July 2021, compared to the same period two years ago.
The research also found spending on hotels, resorts and accommodation rose by 7.8% - the highest growth since before the first lockdown.
Other leisure sectors also saw growth with the entertainment industry seeing a rise for the first time in more than 16 months – up 8.1% as consumers bought cinema, theatre and sporting event tickets.
• ‘Resilience of pubs is one of the biggest things to come out of the pandemic’
Pernod Ricard UK managing director David Haworth told The Morning Advertiser, the way the on-trade has adapted and been resilient against the coronavirus pandemic has a been a huge learning.
Since joining the business in 1989, Haworth has held a variety of roles across the company, across many countries before taking the top job.
The Morning Advertiser spoke to the drinks boss to find out how the business has dealt with the pandemic and what is on the horizon for the business.