Train strikes could cost on-trade £600mBy Melita Kiely
Trade body UK Hospitality has warned the combined rail and tube strikes this week could cost the on-trade £600 million (US$727.9m) in lost sales.
Underground workers in London staged a walkout on Wednesday 15 March, while the UK’s train system faced strike action on Thursday 16 March.
Train strikes are due to take place across the country tomorrow, Saturday 18 March.
The strike action is over a long-running dispute regarding pay, jobs and working arrangements.
Kate Nicholls, UK Hospitality chief executive, said: “This week’s rail and tube strikes will heap further disruption on hospitality, particularly in central London, with the potential to cost the sector as much as £600m in lost sales.
“Our pubs, bars, coffee shops, hotels and restaurants, to name a few, continue to suffer as collateral damage, with total lost sales since the start of the dispute last year now expected to reach more than £3 billion [US$3.6bn].
“The disruption impacts are felt far and wide. Businesses lose crucial sales, workers are often unable to work and earn, and the public are forced to cancel plans with family and friends.
“As we approach the valuable Easter season and head towards the summer, it’s essential that all sides continue negotiations as a matter of urgency and reach a resolution that avoids even more disruption that impacts workers, consumers and businesses.”
Train strikes during the last six months of 2023 cost the UK hospitality £2.5bn (US$2.9bn) in lost sales.
Earlier this week, UK chanceller Jeremy Hunt announced the spring budget 2023. The trade had strong views, particularly in regards to the double-digit tax hike facing spirits this August.