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  • Writer's pictureStephan Busch

You wouldn’t do that to your dog, would you? But to your staff it’s okay?

Unethical treatment of employees in hospitality after Corona hit an all time high!

As feared the Corona panic resulted in an abuse of employees not only in hospitality. But of course in an industry like hospitality that didn’t take much care of their employees even before Corona - it is getting extreme right now. Unemployment is at an all time high. Hospitality and Cruise lines had to close down first and will need a long time to recover.

Now they put the gun to our head

Desperate hospitality staff without pay for month have to jump at every opportunity to make a living. Companies seem to enjoy this and use it against the ones that served their guest and them well in the past!

After the financial crisis in Greece hospitality workers had to work for 2 Euros an hour or even for zero ( 0 ) Euros per hour with the two famous sentences that we all hear now - today - all over Europe:

“Be happy that you have a job and don’t complain - there is a line of people outside that will take the offer” and “Two Euros Euros per hour is okay - you make tips!”

At the same time the EU poured billions of tax payers money every month into Greece. Where did that money go? It didn’t go to the workers or tax payers. The same is happing now all over Europe. We don’t talk about the small pub or family hotel they are also victims. But about the big companies that are avoiding tax payments and cash in support thanks to EU and local laws.

The new normal

Salary cuts between 30% and 50% percent

New contracts either time restricted or with less or no benefits.

Government substitutes for companies that claimed to had to lay off staff but continue to let the staff work full time. Now the tax payer has to pay - the companies make pure profit.

an estimate of 10.000 companies receive illegal government support.

(tagesschau 18.06.2020)

work without pay.

Cruise lines continue to make bad advertising for themselves.

The Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line crew members interviewed for this story said they have not been paid for their work since mid-March. A crew member who requested anonymity for fear of retaliation has been working as a server since mid-March without pay. He said he has spent about $300 on essentials like toothpaste, soap and shampoo as he waits for the company to send him home. ( Miami Herald 12.08.2020)

12,000 crew members still on cruise ships in US waters months after COVID-19 pandemic shut cruising down (USA Today, 8.08.2020)

Carnival-owned Holland America is charging unpaid crew workers stuck on its ships $40 a month for internet (business insider August 2020)

Unfortunately it does not look like the situation will get better soon. Tourism countries like Spain saw a tourism drop of 97.7% percent this year and worldwide new working conditions will be dictated without choice for the majority of the unemployed.

Author: Stephan Busch, Academic Director at the State University for the Humanities Moscow RGGU, Faculty of Tourism & Hospitality and the Swiss International University earned his Master Certificate in Hospitality Management from Cornell University, USA. He has a diverse experience in launching operations, business development and service training- for hotel and cruise companies in Asia, Europe, Canada and Russia.,

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