Indefinite rail strikes 'catastrophic' for sector

By Rebecca Weller

- Last updated on GMT

Irreparable damage: indefinite rail strike action would be 'catastrophic' for hospitality sector (Credit: Getty/Stephen Simpson)
Irreparable damage: indefinite rail strike action would be 'catastrophic' for hospitality sector (Credit: Getty/Stephen Simpson)

Related tags Travel Legislation Health and safety

Indefinite transport strike action would be “catastrophic” for the sector and cause “irreparable damage”, the Night-Time Industries Association (NTIA) has stated.

This comes as National Union of Rail, Maritime, and Transport Workers (RMT) general secretary Mick Lynch last week warned rail strikes could continue indefinitely amid disputes regarding pay and working conditions for rail workers.

NTIA CEO Michael Kill said: “Our industry is suffering heavily from rising costs, as inflation reaches a high, with most reporting an estimated loss of up to 40% in trade from the previous strike action, and unions announcing this morning strikes could go on indefinitely is hugely concerning for the hospitality and late-night sector.

Irreparable damage

“Long term strike action would be catastrophic, sporadic weekly or daily planned strike action is eating into consumer confidence, hospitality and late-night sector workforce​ who aren't able to work from home are struggling to find safe alternative transport at night at additional cost, as well as having a direct impact on the transient mobility of tourists across the country.

"The current operating climate will lead to irreparable damage without Government intervention, leading to loss of businesses and jobs, slowing recovery."

Last week saw some 45,000 rail workers participate in nationwide strike action with just 20% of services operating on Thursday 18 August while Transport For London (TfL) services were disrupted on Friday 19 August.

New hurdles 

Furthermore, previous strikes have been estimated by UKHospitality (UKH) to have already cost the sector £540m​, while the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) stated city centre pubs had seen a 50%​ decline in sales.

BBPA chief executive Emma McClarkin said: “As an industry we really are trying hard to bounce back after the pandemic, but we are faced time and time again with new hurdles from rising costs to labour shortages and now severe transport disruption​​.

“It is imperative to the health of our industry further strikes​​ are avoided so customers and staff alike are able to travel with confidence and keep our pubs thriving.”

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