American actress, jazz singer and author Molly Ringwald, who is performing at Pizza Express in London this week, has been asked to back Unite’s campaign against the company’s controversial ‘tipping’ policy.
Unite, the country’s largest union, is waging a campaign to get the 430-strong Pizza Express restaurant chain to drop the eight per cent administration fee it takes from staff tips paid on a credit card.
Molly Ringwald, who sprang to fame in the 1980s as a teen icon in such films as Pretty in Pink, will be singing at the Pizza Express Jazz Club ,10 Dean Street W1P 3RW tomorrow (Wednesday 19 August) and Thursday (20 August) at 20.30.
Unite will stage a Pretty in Pink themed protest outside the venue on Thursday (20 August) between 18.00 and 19.30. As part of the lively demo, Unite hospitality workers will also be singing a serenade to Pizza Express’ mean-spirited CEO Richard Hodgson.
Unite regional officer Dave Turnbull wrote to Ms Ringwald’s agent: “It would be a fantastic boost to the campaign if Ms Ringwald used her performances to call on her audience to put pressure on Pizza Express to drop the administration fee by tipping in cash.
“The campaign has really caught the public imagination. Nearly 9,000 people have signed a petition calling for the company’s unfair tipping policy to be scrapped.
“People are outraged that the hugely popular, family favourite pizza chain is skimming a proportion of its staff’s hard earned tips.
“Waiting staff are among the UK’s worst paid employees. Pizza Express waiting and kitchen staff are paid the national minimum wage of just £6.50 per hour – no matter how long they’ve worked for the company. They are heavily reliant on customer tips to top up their low pay.
“We are not calling for people to boycott the popular pizza chain, but for customers to show their objection to this unfair practice by tipping in cash instead.”
Pizza Express claims that it is not doing anything wrong, saying that the admin fee covers the cost of running the tronc system – the method used to process and distribute card tips through the payroll.
For those wishing to sign the petition supporting the Pizza Express workers can access the link here
Notes to editors:
For more information please contact:
Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble on 020 3371 2060 or 07768 693940
The Unite press office is on 020 3371 2065
Unite regional officer Dave Turnbull on 07980 721427
Twitter: @unitetheunion Facebook: unitetheunion1
Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.