Almost 95 percent of NSW pub workers have been fired or stood down as a result of coronavirus restrictions, new figures show.
About 75,000 hotel and pub workers were employed across the state before the COVID-19 pandemic.
Of those, 66%, or approximately 49,641 workers, have been stood-down, while 20,812 have unfortunately been put off permanently because of the health crisis.
AHA NSW CEO John Whelan said the hotel sector had shut down to protect the health of the community, but the economic and social costs were high.
“Sadly, these figures speak for themselves – hoteliers have rightly put the health and safety of staff, patrons and the community first as we battle together to contain the spread of COVID-19, but the virus has devastated hotels and our workforce,” he said.
“We look forward to the day when we can safely re-open our doors, re-employ our staff and pour a cold draught beer for our patient patrons.”
AHA NSW and National President Scott Leach said the industry was facing its worst days in more than 100 years.
“We have faced bushfires, floods, droughts and wars alongside the communities we serve but never has our industry been impacted like this,” he said.
“Our hoteliers and their staff are doing the right thing but they are paying a heavy price. We have to remember too, the industry is not in hibernation – bills keep coming in – land tax, company tax, council rates and electricity and gas to name a few, with little or no support.
“Your typical country pub is losing $25-35,000 a month – again with no money coming in. There really is a limit to how much debt can accumulate before many will be forced to close their doors for good.
“We have put health first and we are proud of that but we need to make sure businesses survive so we are there to re-employ our people when recovery does come.”
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has floated the prospect of pubs reopening if enough people download the coronavirus tracing app, COVIDsafe.
He believes it is “realistic” to expect millions more to sign up, allowing the government to ease restrictions and re-open pubs and clubs.
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