Workers at TGI Fridays’ restaurants in Milton Keynes and Covent Garden, London will be going on strike for the first time ever this Friday (18 May), in a 24 hour strike over a tip policy change which could cost waiting staff £250 a month in lost wages.
Unite, Britain’s biggest union, will mark the actions with lunchtime protests outside the two branches from 11am, before moving to a low pay rally in central London with workers from the fast food giant McDonalds to demand better pay and conditions.
WHEN: Friday 18 May 2018 from 11am
WHERE: Milton Keynes Stadium (11:00-12:00), 16 Stadium Way, G1 & G2 MK1 Leisure Park, Milton Keynes, MK1 1ST
WHERE: Covent Garden, (11:00-13:00), TGI Fridays, 6 Bedford Street, London, WC2E 9HZ
Workers will resume their picket later in the day, outside the Covent Garden branch from 18:00. The low pay rally is being held from 14:00 to 16:00 at Unite’s offices in Holborn, London.
The workers union, Unite is urging the company to work with the union on a fair solution and to rebuild trust or risk a summer of disruption as weekly 24 hour strikes threaten to hit the American dining chain on consecutive Fridays.
Workers at two further restaurants - in the Trafford Centre, Greater Manchester and Haymarket Piccadilly in London - have also voted by 100 per cent on a 63.3 per cent turnout to walk-out, with their first strike action expected next Friday (25 May).
The results of the final two industrial action ballots at Enfield, Greater London and Gateshead Metro, Newcastle are due on Friday (18 May), meaning that staff at all six restaurants could be on strike from Friday 1 June.
Unite regional officer Dave Turnbull said: “Unite is warning TGI Fridays of a summer of disruption if management don’t do the decent thing and sit down with us to find a sensible solution to this dispute.
“Our members have sent a very clear message that they will not roll over and be bullied into having their tips taken, without any consultation and with just two days’ notice - a move that will leave waiting staff up to £250 a month worse off.
“This isn’t about minimum wage servers not wanting to share with their kitchen colleagues. It’s about a company whose shareholders have gotten so greedy that they no longer want to pay their hardworking staff anything above the bare minimum.
“We are calling on TGI Fridays customers’ not to cross the picket line this Friday. Sign our letter to the CEO, Karen Forrester urging her to work with us and Acas to find a better way forward.
“We won’t back down, but we are ready to talk. TGI Fridays is urged to take us up on this offer and work together with Acas to start rebuilding trust.”
The dispute arose when the company introduced a new tipping policy with only two days’ notice which would see money earned by the waiting staff redirected to top up the low wages of kitchen staff, a move driven by the need to stop the high turnover of kitchen staff.
The move means waiting staff could lose up to £65 per week from their wage packets.
For more information please contact, Unite campaigns officer Chantal Chegrinec on 07774146777
Twitter: @unitetheunion Facebook: unitetheunion1 Web: unitetheunion.org
Note to editors:
Details of the low pay rally: Workers from TGI Fridays and Intercontinental Hotels Group (IHG) owned Holiday Inn and Crowne Plaza hotels, will be joined by workers from McDonalds to demand £10 an hour and an end to zero hours contracts at the low pay rally from 14:00-16:00 on Friday 18 May. Location: The Diskus Centre, Unite the union, 128 Theobalds Road, London WC1 X 8TN
First and second industrial action ballots locations: opened 18 April. On strike from 18 May.
TGI Fridays, 16 Stadium Way, G1 & G2 MK1 Leisure Park, Milton Keynes, MK1 1ST and
TGI Fridays, 6 Bedford Street, London, WC2E 9HZ
Third and fourth industrial action ballots locations – opened 27 April. On strike from 25 May.
TGI Fridays, The Great Hall, Trafford Centre, Manchester, M17 8AA and
TGI Fridays, 25-29 Coventry Street, London, W1D 7AG.
Fifth and sixth industrial action ballots locations - opened 4 May, closes 18 May 2018.
TGI Fridays, 200 Southbury Road, Enfield Leisure Park, Enfield, EN1 1YQ, TGI Fridays, R11, Qube 2, Metrocentre, Gateshead, NE11 9YG and
TGI Fridays, 6-G Newgate Street, The Gate, Newcastle Upon Tyne, NE1 5TG.
- 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.