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Rail strikes will cost hospitality £1.5bn

New data suggests planned train strikes over the festive period will cost the UK hospitality sector £1.5 billion (US$1.8bn).

UK train strikes
UK Hospitality predicts train strikes in December and January will cost the on-trade £1.5 billion

Trade body UK Hospitality predicts the train strikes planned during December and January will impact the on-trade at a similar level seen during the Covid-19 omicron surge last year.

Trade union is planning industrial action on 13 and 14 December, 16 and 17 December, 3 and 4 January, and 6 and 7 January.

UK Hospitality is urging the transport secretary to help all parties involved find a settlement, which would lead to the strikes being called off.

Kate Nicholls, UK Hospitality chief executive, said: “The impact of rail strikes already this year has been devastating and wide-reaching, but this will pale in comparison to what we will see as a result of the upcoming strikes in December.

“This disruption will devastate hospitality businesses during its busiest period of the year and will once again force the public to cancel and rearrange plans, just as they were preparing for an uninterrupted Christmas. Businesses have already seen mass cancellations which won’t be rescheduled, costing the sector billions in lost sales.

“The Christmas period is not just good for businesses, it’s the most lucrative time for workers where they can benefit from additional overtime and higher levels of tips due to excess demand.

“These strikes damage all parts of society and it’s now time that the government proactively brings all partners to the table to deliver a solution that protects the nation’s workers and hospitality customers this Christmas.”

In October, data showed more than a third of UK hospitality businesses could fold in early 2023 because of the cost-of-doing-business crisis.

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