Hotel and Restaurant staff – Now they really have us in the corner!
Not long ago I published an article about the effects the crisis will have on our jobs. (They have us where they want us! Let’s prepare to battle the long term effects on hospitality jobs, March 26th).
Now hospitality is opening up but we have seen already how the big cruise companies treated their staff. Not all but most set a very bad example.
Now we are opening up restaurants, bars and hotels and the first companies start already to behave the way I was afraid they would. Salaries are reduced with the Corona excuse. Contracts are shortened so you have to re-apply and accept different conditions if it pleases the employer.
In Germany it was even at one point suggested to reduce the minimum pay which wasn´t enough even before the crisis. Small businesses struggle to survive and will not be able to hire employees. Which is tough but better than abusing staff. In Greece after the last financial crisis some restaurant owners paid their staff 2 Euros per hour with the comment that they will be tipped by the guest. Some even paid 0,00 Euros for the same reason. For the same reason some companies already reduce salaries by 20% or more.
In the last twenty years salaries and working conditions got worse and worse in hospitality and the cruise industry. At the same time there was enough money – billions for mergers (Starwood, etc.) – millions for bonuses for executives and especially billions of profits in the cruise industry.
Let’s hope we don´t get there but all signs point in that direction. A crisis is an opportunity to change for the better. But unfortunately also an opportunity for greedy ideas and behavior to succeed.
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.