Tourism Concern calls for action on staff abuse in hospitality

18 August 2004
Tourism Concern calls for action on staff abuse in hospitality

Abuse is rife in the global tourism industry and a blind eye has been turned to this massive issue for too long, an organisation campaigning for ethical tourism has warned.

In some countries, workers don't have the rights we enjoy in the UK
A new report from Tourism Concern on labour standards and social responsibility found that many of the 200 million workers employed in the tourism industry suffered unacceptably low and unpredictable pay, treacherous safety conditions, serious health risks, sexual harassment, long hours and casual employment. Director Trisha Barnett said much was being done in the tourism industry in terms of environmental responsibility, but too little was being done to tackle staff abuse. Tourism Concern wants to make labour rights and working conditions part of the principles of corporate social responsibility. "We've got to shift a gear on this one," she said. "This is a much more serious issue." Barnett added that her organisation was mostly concerned with workers' dependence on tips and the amount of hours they worked for no extra pay. The report, which looked at the tourism industry across the globe, excluding the UK, found that many hospitality workers were not being paid a liveable wage. Despite working in developed countries, many were living in conditions more usually associated with the developing world. Although Tourism Concern would not give out details of the hotels guilty of workforce abuse, Barnett said a lot of them were run by the big hotel groups. - Is workforce abuse a big problem in this country? Have you been made to work horrendously long hours for no overtime? Do you rely on tips to make ends meet? Caterer would love to hear from you to find out how the UK tourism industry treats its workforce. Send your story to . Responses will be treated confidentially. *Source: Caterer & Hotelkeeper magazine, 19 August 2004*
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