Hospitality staff and working conditions

 

A chara, – Deirdre Falvey’s article “Hospitality staff – underpaid and undervalued” (Weekend Review, July 31st) is a long time coming. The majority of Ireland’s young people have first-hand experience of the shortfall in the working conditions of our hospitality industry. The urgency of this report is partly in Ireland’s economic dependence on the tourism and hospitality industry and, as your reporter points out, it is one of our largest sectors and cannot be “outsourced”.

Most tourists come to Ireland to experience a warm welcome, which our hospitality staff are the face of. These people face poor pay, long unsociable hours and hard working conditions which are little acknowledged, and are now enduring increased workloads due to staff shortages and “staycationing” surges. When will our tourism promotion bodies realise it is time to invest not in digital media, new marketing strategies or catchy slogans but in improving working conditions and helping the face of our famous welcome? This discontent goes beyond being an economic threat but one to social cohesion. People are treated chiefly as a dispensable workforce and are left indignant – overworked, underpaid, exploited (both physically and emotionally) and voiceless.

As a society, we must listen, respond and enact changes. – Is mise,

CATHAL DOWD SMITH,

Stoneybatter,

Dublin 7.