Christmas is a good time for the hospitality industry. With tons of people moving around, staying in hotels, and attending parties and gatherings, it’s a time of high profits. On top of that, hospitality service providers also have a chance to hike up their prices due to a time of higher demand.
However, this year’s rail strikes in the UK threaten to hamper that. The rail workers’ union has announced four strikes in December and January, poised to last 48 hours each. The development is the latest attempt to increase wages in an ongoing dispute between the Rail Minister and the union.
However, the strike may cause irreparable damage to the hospitality industry. As people cancel plans and reservations due to fearing the inability to commute, the industry has lost an estimated £200,000.
Both workers, who get higher than usual tips and can put in extra hours, and owners are poised to feel the impact. The especially worrying detail from them is that, even if the railroad strikes get resolved, the damage may already be done.
That’s because people need to plan ahead for Christmas events. Usually, venues are full, and to get in, you need reservations significantly ahead of time. And even if that weren’t the case, few are willing to leave their plans for the holiday up to chance since they are social events. Usually, groups of people make arrangements together. As such, the people who have canceled their trips and plans are unlikely to rebook them even if the strike gets resolved.
RMT union’s general secretary Mick Lynch is astounded by the government’s levity regarding the issue. All parties involved, including the railroad strikers, are hoping that the government will take a proactive approach to solve the problems. The railroad strikes have already had a significant impact and show no signs of slowing.