Kevin's Blog

For the last two days i've been in Sydney establishing contact with our Sister union the LHMU. I have had meetings with the officers and staff of the LHMU hotels organising team operating in Sydney and the state of New South Wales (NSW).
The team have a determind confidence whilst being under no illusion as the difficulties of the task that they have set themselves. That's partly because LHMU demonstrated a thorough and disciplined approach that effective organising demands. They identified their target as those 4 and star plus hotels within a 5 kilometre radius of the city centre and then published their policy proposals for the luxury hotel sector in a series of publications "A Rescue package for Luxury Hotels" with the sub title "better jobs,better hotels", "Hotels to be Proud of" and "A New Way Forward". (I hope to get pdf versions of these on the website soon).
They then put together their organising team with appropriate staff and research support. The workforce they are organising has the same profile as we have in London. A mainly migrant workforce, predominantly women on minmum wage with the highest turnover than any other sector at 38% a year. In terms of health and safety they have the highest accident rate, second only to the construction industry. It all sounds depressingly familiar, doesn't it?
Well I've just got back from a very hot Sydney city centre and decided I deserve a break so I'm just off to the beach. Remember to wrap up warm over there!