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January tube strikes will cost hospitality businesses £50m

Published:  05 January, 2024

The London Underground will be subject to strike action on separate days between 5-12 January the Rail, Maritime and Transport Union (RMT) has confirmed in yet another blow to the hospitality industry.

Since the ongoing strike action commenced 18 months ago, hospitality businesses across the UK are estimated to have lost £4bn in sales as a result of reduced footfall and minimised income. 

RMT members voted to take the latest industrial action over a 5% pay offer.

In response to this latest setback, UKHospitality CEO Kate Nicholls stated next week’s action could cost the sector a further £50m in lost revenue, during what is already a traditionally challenging month for on trade businesses.

“Yet another tube strike is frustrating news for Londoners, workers, and the thousands of hospitality businesses that operate in the capital,” Nicholls said.

“With the strike days affecting Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday next week (9-11 January) – the key weekdays that commuters now come into the city – we estimate that the impact to the sector from next week’s tube strike could be up to £50m.

“And that figure is on top of the lost £4bn in sales over the past 18 months that hospitality businesses have already had to absorb from ongoing transport strikes.

National Rail has stated its services will likely be affected by the industrial action on the tube network, meaning the disruptions will spread beyond the capital, though it couldn’t provide specific details on which rail services will be affected.

Nicholls added: “January is already one of the quieter trading months of the year for hospitality, where every sale counts, and this disruption will make the start to the year even more challenging. We need all parties to come together to urgently reach a resolution and bring to an end this long-running disruption.”