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Support for Scotland's tourism sector labelled ‘aggressively pro-owner and anti-worker’

A COLLECTIVE of trade unionists and workers in Scotland have branded government proposals to support the tourism sector “aggressively pro-owner and anti-worker.” 

The Scottish Tourism Workers League (STWL) hit out at the government’s Tourism Task Force report on the future of the sector, claiming it was “full of bad proposals hidden behind nice photos.” 

Last week the task force, made up mostly of industry leaders, unveiled recommendations including the need for a continuation of support for workers and an acknowledgement that fair work is “essential.”

Earlier this week, the Scottish Trades’ Union Congress raised concerns that the report falls short in delivering safe and fair workplaces, claiming it “lacks ambition.” 

Now, members of the STWL, a support network set up during the Covid-19 crisis, have called for all government support to be conditional. 

Jon Heggie of the league said any support, which at present “leaves everything up to the whims of bosses and owners,” must ensure that at least some of the help makes its way to workers.

He added that the proposals keep workers “in precarity and uncertainty, which will continue” throughout the pandemic. 

Mr Heggie, a former tour guide, told the Star: “We want [the task force] to show how [the support] will be used to retain jobs. 

“People don’t feel like their voices have been heard, and there are lots of absentee, out-of-touch owners who are only interested in making money and letting people go.

“We’d like to see some solid commitment in terms of fair work. 

“When you look at the concrete proposals, I’d like the same determination to support workers that has been given to business owners.”

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