Further strikes over the Christmas period announced yesterday by rail union RMT are set to disrupt the "third Christmas in a row" for hospitality businesses during the key festive period.
UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls said fresh strikes announced from 6pm on 24 December through to 6am on 27 December would be "hugely damaging" for hospitality businesses, workers and guests on top of planned strikes on 13-14 and 16-17 December, and 3-4 and 6-7 January.
She added that it was important the government provided additional support to the sector "to get through what will be a very bleak winter without the benefit of the golden month of trade".
RMT recommended members reject the latest offer from Network Rail to members. Executives from nine pub and bar groups, including Fuller's, Drake & Morgan and Young's sent an open letter to RMT leader Mick Lynch calling for a quick resolution to the issue, in response to which Lynch called on the hospitality industry to lobby the government.
The next wave of rail strikes could cost the hospitality industry an estimated £1.5b a day, UKHospitality has warned, and some businesses have reported that a fifth of their festive bookings have already been cancelled.
The RMT union is seeking an improved offer on pay and job conditions for its members across the rail network.