With over 34,000 employees in 821 hotels and 411 pubs and restaurants, Whitbread (owners of Premier Inn and familiar Brands such as Beefeater and Brewers Fayre) are one of the largest employers in the hospitality sector. As such they have a moral obligation to build back better after the Covid crisis by setting benchmark standards for decent pay and progressive employee relations.
Unite is the union for Whitbread workers. At our monthly online meeting, Unite’s members in Whitbread’s Premier Inn and food and beverage brands have discussed what our priorities should be throughout 2022. Proposals were then put to our full membership who were given the right to vote on them – see more on this below.
On paper the company appear to have all of their risk assessments, safe working practice and PPE
in place. However, the implementation of this at workplace
level is inconsistent. Our aim and objective is to challenge failings in safe practice at both local and national levels.
Flexibility in terms of work role, rosters, hours and locations was introduced as part of the company restructure in response to Covid. Staff understood the need for this. But it has to be fairly implemented. Being flexible doesn’t mean having to accept every instruction regardless of justification. And being told ‘if you didn’t like it you shouldn’t have signed for it,’ when concerns are raised is not an acceptable response!
Everyone deserves dignity in their place of work. The company needs to ensure there is zero tolerance of bullying and harassment.
Discrimination on the grounds of race, gender, age, disability, sexual orientation, or religion should always be challenged. Those with caring or family responsibilities must be treated fairly.
The real Living Wage is currently £11.05 an hour in the London area and £9.90 an hour in the rest of Britain & Northern Ireland. Over 7,000 employers pay their lowest paid workers this rate on a voluntary basis. As a result they have seen increased productivity,
improved staff moral and lower staff turnover. We want Whitbread to become an accredited Living Wage employer.
Unite has recently signed an agreement with another major hotel chain allowing 4 union recruitment visits and 2 union meetings per
year in each location. Whitbread should agree similar facilities for
all Premier Inn and food and beverage brands.
How Can I Help?
1. Attend our monthly Unite members Zoom meetings. (Contact us here for details)
2. Join members WhatsApp. Email our rep Kevin Reynolds to be added
3. Feedback to Unite about issues at your workplace.
4. Share this page or this newsletter and tell work colleagues about our 5 key Union objectives.
5. Encourage work colleagues to join Unite.