Hospitality United, a new team within United Voice, launched in Queensland on Monday 5 December. The new network is currently comprised of more than 400 workers with the aim of growing to include thousands of members from casinos, clubs, pubs, hotels, motels, theme parks, catering, cafes, restaurants and other venues across the state.
Along with offering a network to connect hospitality workers, Hospitality United provides a support community and information and advice line for hospitality workplace issues.
James Gartry, an organiser for Hospitality United, said that the new community is currently working alongside the Save Your Weekend campaign to protect penalty rates.
“Penalty rates are probably the biggest issue that the Hospitality United community is campaigning to keep. But underpayments in the industry are also unfortunately common; one in four hospitality workers is underpaid. And the industry is very casualised, which means insecure employment,” Gartry told Hospitality.
“We felt the time is right, now that we have the resources available, to get on the front foot. Never before has it been more important for hospitality workers to be united.
“The initial focus is on the clubs industry, working with employers and engaging the local community around employers who commit to protect penalty rates regardless of the Fair Work decision. We’re also doing what we can to change the minds of employers who won’t make that commitment.
“Here in Queensland hospitality workers are excited that they have a voice now. Now they can say ‘hey, you know what, we sacrifice time with our family and friends on the weekends and miss important moments like Christmas and birthdays because we rely on penalty rates.’ They have voice to ensure they get treated with respect.”