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Senator Paul Gavan condemns Irish hotels for making a profit on the back of poverty pay for employees

29 December, 2016 - by Paul Gavan

Senator Paul Gavan has condemned the Irish Hotels Sector for making record profits on the back of poverty pay for employees. The Sinn Féin Senator was responding to a report from the Irish Tourist Industry Confederation which showed that 2016 was a record year for Irish Tourism generating revenues of €8 Billion.

"Hotel revenues are breaking all records, while the price of hotel rooms has gone through the roof. Meanwhile the people at the coal face, delivering excellent service to tourists day in and day, out continue to suffer from zero hour contracts, and poverty pay."

Senator Gavan, who is a former SIPTU Official and Sinn Féin Spokesperson for Workers Rights in the Seanad, continued "The facts speak for themselves; workers in the Accommodation and Food Services sector in Ireland earn on average 25 percent less than those working in other EU-15 countries according to the EU Commission Eurostat figures. 

"Meanwhile the UL report on zero and low hour contracts produced at the end of 2015 highlighted this sector as one of the worst culprits when it comes to precarious work i.e. workers having no guarantee from one week to the next regarding their hours of work."

"So what we have are thousands of workers on minimum wage or just above, not knowing from one week to the next how many hours of work they will receive. No wonder profits are booming,"

" Remember this is a Sector that receives a €600 million subsidy from the taxpayer each year through reduced VAT, a Sector characterised by record profits and poverty pay.Unless the Irish Hotels Federation lift their refusal to work with trade unions and agree an Employment Regulation Order to raise pay across the Sector this VAT subsidy.

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