Join Unite for the launch of ‘Tale of Two Cities’ – a ...

Join Unite for the launch of ‘Tale of Two Cities’ – a graphic story of exploited hotel workers

25 September 2015

Britain biggest union, Unite, is launching ‘Tale of Two Cities’ - a powerful graphically illustrated novel about bullied and exploited hotel workers and their journey to get organised - in Brighton on Sunday 27 September. 

WHEN: Sunday 27 September, 18:00 -21:00
WHERE: Victory Pub, 6 Duke Street, Brighton BN1 1AH  (upstairs function room - outside the secure zone)

Unite has commissioned the novel as a recruitment tool to reach out to a marginalised workforce – who often do not speak English and know very little of their workers’ rights. 

The poor working conditions of British hotel workers are vividly brought to life in the novel with one illustration showing exhausted room attendants being shouted at to work faster, and told to ‘shut up and go back to work if you don’t want to lose your job’. 

Come and meet the artist and former chambermaid Barbara Pokryszka and listen to hotel workers share their stories about what life is really like working in some of London’s top hotels. 

Dave Turnbull Unite regional officer said: “Unite is proud to publish this powerful illustrated graphic story. The poor working conditions of British hotel staff so movingly illustrated in this novel are all too common across the industry. Workers need to get organised, they need a trade union on their side to challenge these types of unfair work practices head on. 

“Not a single UK hotel pays the living wage (£9.15 p/h). Low pay, zero hour contracts and open hostility toward trade unions by leading global hotel chains means that London is fast becoming the most unethical tourist destination in the world. 

“The graphic novel is called ‘Tale of Two Cities’ because we are drawing direct comparisons with New York where the sector is over 80 per cent unionised, and where workers are paid three times more than their London counterparts. It is our aim to get UK hotel workers organised and part of a union, so that they too can get better, fairer deal at work.” 


For more information please contact, Unite campaigns officer Chantal Chegrinec on 07774146777 

Note to editors:

  • Download the launch event flyer:
  • 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