Australian Hotel Jobs Offer Anything But Luxury

11th March 2008 (Last Updated March 11th, 2008 07:09)

Occupancy rates may be going through the roof, but that does not stop more than 48 percent of Australia's luxury hotel staff from walking away from the industry each year, according to the Luxury Hotel Management Union (LHMU). The union says Australia's luxury hotel workers suffer some

Occupancy rates may be going through the roof, but that does not stop more than 48 percent of Australia’s luxury hotel staff from walking away from the industry each year, according to the Luxury Hotel Management Union (LHMU).

The union says Australia’s luxury hotel workers suffer some of the lowest wages in the nation as well as near record injury rates – only marginally down from the nation’s worst offender, the construction industry.

The current conditions are also lending themselves to spiralling workloads and bullying, according to LHMU National Secretary Louise Tarrant.

“A critical shortage of workers and the highest staff turnover of any industry in Australia are creating an epidemic of injuries in luxury hotels,” Tarrant says.

“Our research has exposed alarming working conditions in these hotels including the worst injury rates for working women in Australia and an overall injury rate of 9.7 percent per annum only fractionally behind the notorious construction industry.

“This year, one in ten of Australia’s luxury hotels workers can expect to be injured at work.”

Up to 85 percent of workers in Australia’s luxury hotels make less than A$30,000 a year and according to the LHMU, careers in such areas offer little growth and opportunities for training and career design.

The LHMU has suggested a rescue package for the industry that includes reforms in pay, a national training programme, a “strong and effective voice for workers” and positive promotion of the industry.

By Penny Jones