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Thousands of hospitality jobs could be lost without measures to protect workers, Scottish Labour warns

THOUSANDS of jobs in Scotland’s hospitality sector could be lost unless measures are put in place to protect workers.

New analysis by Scottish Labour revealed today that the hospitality sector directly employs 256,300 people across Scotland, including 46,935 in Glasgow and 41,735 in Edinburgh.

MSPs have called for the implementation of a quality jobs guarantee scheme to ensure that thousands of workers in restaurants, bars and cafes are not laid off. 

Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard also said that the furlough scheme should be extended in the hospitality sector as part of the fight for workers. 

As members of the public return to pubs and restaurants, Mr Leonard warned of a “crisis” in the sector. 

He said: “Scotland’s economy depends on hospitality jobs and Scotland’s hospitality sector needs jobs for good. 

“A quality jobs guarantee scheme could stimulate demand as well so that when the furlough scheme ends in other sectors workers can still afford to visit restaurants and bars.”

Those representing workers backed the calls with unions warning that some employers have already begun sacking staff en masse, despite utilising the furlough scheme. 

Unite Hospitality organiser Bryan Simpson said: “The hospitality sector is set to be one of the worst-hit sectors in the economy. 

“These companies have all used the job retention scheme to the tune of hundreds of millions of pounds of public funds with no intention of retaining staff. This is not just a moral outrage but legally problematic too.”

The STUC’s Roz Foyer added: “We will not forget the businesses who refused to furlough their staff during this pandemic, and who have treated workers callously in order to ring fence profit or prevent unexpected costs.”

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