A network of tourism-dependent workers in the Highlands and Islands
COVID-19 has caused unprecedented changes and challenges in the Highlands and Islands. Many of those whose livelihoods depend on tourism – whether in hospitality, retail or transport – have had their lives turned upside down. The collapse of international tourism has seen absentee owners abandon their workers whilst raking in millions in government support.
The Scottish Tourism Workers’ League was founded by former tourism workers in partnership with Better than Zero, Scotland’s campaign against precarious work, with three key objectives in mind:
1. To advocate a worker-led recovery of tourism in the region. Absentee owners have revealed themselves to be out of touch and indifferent, preferring to sacrifice livelihoods rather than take chances to adapt. The future must belong to those who know the lay of the land – we are here to give them a voice.
2. To share expertise and organise against bad bosses. Across the Highlands and Islands, employers are forcing redundancies and contract changes upon their workers without following the law. Drawing on experience and expertise from BetterThanZero, the League can teach workers how to fight back.
3. To maintain a long-term support network for tourism workers in the Highlands and Islands. As the industry slowly recovers, many workers will have lost contacts and networks from before the crisis. The League provides a platform to share information and opportunities as we move forward together.