As the door to the hotel room remains closed, the future of many companies in the laundry and textile service industry is also closed. No need for soft sheets and nice towels, no restaurant guests asking for tableware - revenue is lost in an industry where half of the costs are salary. It hits hard. We live in a 100-year storm and now the government needs to act vigorously. We need an open door.
Here is the Swedish Textile Service Association's open letter to Business Minister Ibrahim Baylan. How do you intend to secure an industry that is severely affected by the current situation?
The foundation for a socially important industry and a circular industry is at risk of being torn apart by the current Corona outbreak. We want to ask you as Minister of Business to pay attention to our situation in the Laundry and Textile Services industry. There is a real risk that our companies will be forced to close down operations and terminate employees.
The laundry and textile service industry is a small industry, but of vital importance for business and public activities to function. Our task is to ensure that the surgeon, baker and contractor feel safe with their work clothes - safe with hygiene, comfort, visibility and flame protection. We are an important industry for keeping the healthcare and health sector running with clean work clothes and textiles, not least in the current situation. If necessary, we can often offer textile substitutes for several disposable products that risk becoming in short supply.
Our services and our expertise are needed. But when the foreign hospitality industry is in principle completely discontinued and domestic travel is minimized, no soft sheets and comforters are needed and no restaurant guests ask for table cloths. It is extremely difficult for the hospitality industry and for those of our members who supply it. Alerts and layoffs are already a reality.
The corona virus presents enormous challenges for all of us. We welcome all efforts to minimize its impact and note all actions the government is taking. The efforts now being made to reduce the financial burden on companies are excellent, but more will be needed. Temporary and targeted support will be needed.
Laundry and textile service companies are usually small companies with a smaller number of employees. The industry consists of approximately 270 limited companies, of which more than eighty percent employ a maximum of ten people. In addition, there are state, regional and county-owned businesses, trading companies, limited liability companies and individual companies. For a large proportion of companies, endurance is limited.
Today, about 5 people work in the laundry and textile service industry and we have sales of just over SEK 000 billion. The industry is staff-intensive, salaries account for 5,5 per cent of costs, and usually employ many young people, many without completed education and many who are born abroad. This means that the industry normally functions as an efficient integration engine where there are great opportunities for people who are far from the labor market to get a job. When our industry folds, it creates extra serious rings on the water, in the short and long term.
We need a dialogue about powerful measures.
Chairman of the Swedish Textile Service Association
Vice Chairman of the Swedish Textile Service Association