Trade union condemns discarding service charge in hospitality trade

Panaji, Sep 23 (IANS) The All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC) in Goa on Saturday protested against the central government’s decision to stop service charges in hotels and restaurants.

Speaking to reporters in Panaji, General Secretary of the AITUC Christopher Fonseca said that hotel employees, including those in tourism-friendly Goa, were paid low wages and depended on service charges or tips paid by customers. Doing away with it would be a setback to the several thousand strong workforce.

“The wages paid to the hotel employees, even in the five-star hotels, is very low and the hotel employees mostly survive on service charges or on tips given by customers,” Fonseca said, adding that even in neighbouring countries like Nepal and Sri Lanka, paying service charge was mandatory for customers.

Consumer Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan’s decision to do away with the service charge is “shocking” and amounts to “trampling” on the service conditions and rights of hotel and restaurant workers, Fonseca added.

The AITUC and the Hotel Employees Federation of India have written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, asking him to intervene in the matter and make payment of 10 per cent service charge mandatory in hotels and restaurants.

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