We are Horeca United, a newly founded collective of hospitality workers in Amsterdam. Together, we are building a self-organized grassroots union and a network of solidarity.
Our aim is to create better work conditions for all working in horeca; no more unpaid hours of work, getting forced to work when we are sick. No more getting fired on the spot for stupid reasons. No more not getting to take a break. No more minimum wages!
We, (the workers), have suffered too long from underpayment, instability and injustice, assuming that this is just “how the industry is”. This industry is being kept alive by us who cook and serve food, who clean hotel rooms and who scrub the floors each night. It is breaking our backs and crushing our souls, often leaving us broke before the end of the month.
But today, more than ever before, we as HORECA workers have the power to decide what conditions and pay we want for our work. There is a shortage of HORECA workers in the entire country, and our power to walk away from this sector is also the power we have to stay and push for fair, decent work. These businesses only exist because of our labour, because WE are HORECA, we are the industry.
We call to all bosses and managers to defend our rights, to treat us with respect.
If they choose to ignore us – we will remind them. If they don’t listen – we will apply the pressure.
We believe in our collective power as workers to improve our lives, to organize and find our own solutions. Waiting for the state to fix this situation is not an option. We don’t have to accept abuse and exploitation as part of our work. They say that if we can’t handle the conditions, we should leave. We say it’s time to unite and fight back, because we can make it better. We can have jobs that we are proud of.
Do you have problems with your boss? Different from conventional unions, we do provide direct action and moral support. We don’t ask you for any money, membership is free. Assemblies are open for all, and decisions are made by all in consent. We organize ourselves, in an anti-hierarchical way, and we support each other by planning and doing direct actions.
This is a proven method – Horeca United has its roots in the solidarity network Vloerwerk. They have won countless of labor conflicts, in self-organized campaigns. Our friends from the Radical Riders also originate from Vloerwerk, and follow a similar approach of direct, collective action.
Some try to convince us that we need experts gathering far away in fancy offices to represent our rights.
Together we can represent ourselves, and talk about what really matters.
Make it impossible for bosses to ignore us, join the fight for better work!