Spare a thought for hospitality staff

 

Sir, – Christmas in Ireland is seen as the ultimate break but for many it is the busiest time of year.

Our sympathies are often rightly focused on the overworked healthcare staff in overfilled hospitals. As well the homeless people stuck in limbo in emergency shelter.

But on top of that we should also think too of the service workers: the retail workers and hospitality staff like myself who see no time off at this end of the year. The people who have been described as a “new working class” without all the security and dignity that term once brought decades ago.

The bar tenders, cleaners, baristas, and delivery workers that know the pressures of 40-hour weeks with “fully flexible” contracts where they could end up working six, seven, or eight days in a row. And even at the end of all that they’re only just getting by as their rents increase and Christmas takes its own toll.

Of course, that’s not to lament the work itself, as I know some places are great to work for and many managers are sympathetic in the hectic season. But let’s not forget the local elves who help make Christmas season happen. – Yours, etc,

OWEN HANLEY,

Galway.