Even the government agrees that laundries need help – but it does nothing, says David Stevens, CEO of the Textile Services Association (TSA), the agency that represents commercial laundries in the UK. Stevens asks the government to do something about the situation and warns that 28,000 jobs could be lost without help, which will have a massive impact on the hotel industry.
David Stevens, pictured right, is doing everything it can to rouse the government to the plight of laundries, especially those working in the hospitality industry who are at immediate risk of suffering the potential loss of 28,000 laundry jobs and a mighty blow. Impact on the slowly opening hospitlaity industry itself.
He told LCN that everyone agrees that laundries should be on the list of companies that can apply for interest rate relief. MPs agree. Cabinet officials agree. Municipal councils agree. But nobody has done anything about it, even though much of the UK laundry industry, which employs 28,000 people, is on the verge of being shut down.
The ban gave additional government support to virtually every industry affected by the Covid 19 pandemic, but no laundries. Stevens warned that most of the laundry industry would be closed completely without the ongoing hotel industry. Many of the UK's laundry businesses are currently in such an emergency that they will go bankrupt without financial support.
Stevens said: “I have literally had hundreds of calls to councils, collective bargaining officers, MPs, and even cabinet officials who all think our circumstances are exceptional. I have sent letter by letter. I had meetings after meetings. All of these people understand how important we are to the hotel industry. They know that hospitality cannot come back without laundry. But they all say that their hands are tied without clear government advice.
"We have the support of the UK Hospitality Association, large hotel groups, other associations, MPs, and so the list goes on. In fact, nobody disagrees with us. Even the government agrees. But nothing is done. Now it is important that we are on our knees.
“The truth is that nobody seems to care about the 28,000 workers in our industry. There is a total lack of decision-making within the government, and no one there seems to understand the processes they have put in place.
"We are no longer asking for help. We are begging."
The TSA has set out exactly what it needs in a simple two-point plan.
- Give the UK laundry industry a price relief
- Acknowledge that hospitality laundries are part of the hospitality industry – and should receive the same support they receive
"It's frankly horrific. Stop spreading and hesitating. Give us the support we need to survive," said Stevens. "There are 28,000 jobs at stake. We need help. Not tomorrow, not next week. We need it now. "
The TSA is the professional association of the textile care services industry. The TSA represents commercial laundry and textile rental companies. Membership ranges from family-run companies to large multinational companies. Visit www.tsa-uk.org for more information.