Dismore speaks up for hospitality trade workers

Labour London Assembly member for Barnet and Camden Andrew Dismore AM spoke in support of the motion to back hospitality workers at the Assembly’s November  plenary meeting (text below) (video link https://vimeo.com/189957918)

Mr Dismore said:

‘Having grown up in the hospitality industry in Yorkshire, I am aware of the extent to which staff in the trade are amongst the most vulnerable of employees.

‘Hospitality workers face poor working conditions, anti-social hours and the menace of zero hours contracts. Some employers even fail to pay the minimum wage, let alone the London Living Wage.

‘Many employees are workers from overseas, who are ripe for exploitation as they are unaware of their rights or how to enforce them.

‘’whilst some people  can advance  into  a well paid career, very few end up as celebrity chefs, for example. Most face a very real lack of prospects or chances for promotion.

‘All this leads to high staff turnover and poor job satisfaction.

‘The motion which i was happy to second indicates the responsibilities   of employers  to their  staff, which when  honoured pay those same employers real dividends  in reduced staff turnover and consequent lowering of training costs with happier staff in what are public facing  jobs.’

The full text of the Motion:

This Assembly is deeply concerned by the low-pay and unethical practices that characterise large parts of London’s hospitality sector, with research undertaken by Unite the Union showing that 63 per cent of workers in hotels and restaurants are paid less than the London Living Wage.


The hospitality and tourism industry is an essential component of London’s economy. More than 30m UK and international tourists visited London in 2015, contributing £15bn to the U.K economy. This Assembly notes that staff turnover costs hospitality employers in London £274 million annually. This situation is likely to be exacerbated by the consequences of Brexit, with one in eight employees in London coming from the European Economic Area (EEA), a third of which make up a third of employees in London’s accommodation and food services.


This Assembly believes that hotel chains operating in the capital have a social and moral responsibility to treat their workers ethically. That means paying staff a wage they can live on;  providing safe, secure work and guaranteed hours every week; and offering training, development, and career opportunities. Ethical treatment of staff leads to greater productivity, staff retention and a more positive image to promote, which translates in to significant savings for business.


This Assembly calls on the Mayor to encourage the hospitality industry to improve conditions and promote best practice similar to conditions in New York where room attendants receive a pay of at least £16 per hour. The Assembly also calls on the Mayor to undertake an evidence-led review of the financial benefits to the hospitality sector of paying the London Living Wage and pursuing employment practices that encourage workers to remain within the industry.