Any supports for restaurants must be matched with pro-worker conditions says Labour Cllr

02 May 2020
  • Temple Bar councillor says pro-worker conditions must be placed on financial supports for the restaurant industry

Responding to the nine point plan proposed this week to support restaurants by the RAI, Labour Party Councillor Kevin Donoghue, who represents Dublin’s South-East Inner-City ward said any financial support provided by the State to the industry must be contingent upon reforms to employee welfare practices.

Councillor Donoghue said:

“It is crucial that the hospitality sector is given the support it needs to bounce back. However, we cannot have a situation where significant unconditional financial support is provided by the State to an industry that needs to address the treatment of its staff on an industry wide scale.”

“Restaurants and the hospitality sector in general will need huge support when the Covid-19 restrictions end but so will staff who work in the industry. There are good restaurant owners out there, but low pay and precarious terms and conditions are commonplace.”

Kevin, who represents the Temple Bar and city centre area that has a huge concentration of restaurants further added:

“Any supports offered to the industry should be contingent upon:

  • union recognition,
  • a living wage for staff and
  • a guarantee that employees will be the ultimate beneficiary of tips they receive from customers

“The State previously provided unconditional support to the industry, in the form of the special 9% VAT rate from 2011 to 2018, at a substantial cost to the state. During that period, we did not see real leadership from industry representatives to meaningfully reform employee welfare practices. Indeed, there have been high profile cases of alleged tip theft by restaurant managers in recent years.

“Therefore, the government must place strong conditions on any financial support provided to the industry in the post Covid-19 recovery programme, to ensure restaurant staff are given the respect they deserve.”

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