Strikes are bad for the hospitality sector
The profit lost by UK pubs, hotels and restaurants to strikes in December was £1.5bn, British Hospitality Association (BHA) head of hospitality Kate Nicholls said on Friday.
"We have recorded cancellation rates of between 50% and 60% in central London and between 20% and 30% in the rest of the country as a direct result of the strikes," she told BBC Radio. In addition, she said shop traffic also fell by an average of 27% nationally, and by 45% in the central part of the capital and in the City of London.
As Nicholls noted, given the problems the hospitality sector was already experiencing due to soaring energy prices, this is an extremely unfavourable set of circumstances. This could lead to the closure of new businesses and establishments over the next three months, in addition to the 2,500 that closed in the previous three months, she said.
Nicholls also called on the government to provide more support for energy prices after April, when the current price cap ends.
Britain was hit by a wave of strikes in December, amid sharp inflation a record high of 10.7% in almost 40 years and falling real incomes. For example, railway workers were on strike for eight days. Border guards, nurses, ambulance drivers, driving test officials and postmen also stayed away.
The British authorities in their turn repeatedly stated that they cannot afford to raise the salaries of people employed in the public sector in line with the inflation rate, as such measures will only further increase prices in the country and will be an additional burden on the budget.