Workers at TGI Fridays Trafford Centre in Manchester and Haymarket in London are being balloted for strike action, as the second in a series of rolling strike ballots hits the American dining chain in a dispute over tips and minimum wage abuses.
Unite, Britain’s biggest union, which notified the company last week of its plan to ballot workers at two restaurants a week for strike action, starting with Milton Keynes and Covent Garden in London, is urging the company to clean up its act and sit down to talk with the union.
A lunchtime protest will be held outside the Haymarket branch in London today (20 April) from 12:30 to 13:30 at 25-29 Coventry St, London W1D 7AG.
Unite is also investigating a number of possible minimum wage abuses, including the regular use of unpaid trial shifts, not paying staff for time spent undertaking compulsory company training and other scams that cause workers to be cheated out of money they are rightfully owed.
Unite regional officer Dave Turnbull said: “Our members feel badly let down. It started back in January when waiters were given just two days’ notice that they’d be losing 40 per cent of their tips paid via a card. There was no consultation.
“Since then TGI Fridays management has wilfully ignored the damage caused by this decision. It has refused to meet with workers or listen to their concerns. They just don’t seem to care that losing 40 per cent of card tips, or not paying staff for all the time they work, is a lot of money to a minimum-waged waitress, with children to support.
“But this action is about much more than a change in tip policy. It’s about standing up to an employer that thinks it can get away with bulldozing through changes unchallenged. It’s also about challenging a rotten system built on low pay and exploitation and saying: ‘we will not be ignored or exploited anymore’.
“TGI Fridays workers are proud to stand with McDonalds workers who took part in the first ever strikes to hit the fast food giant in the UK last September , to demand better pay and fairer treatment.”
For more information please contact Unite campaigns officer Chantal Chegrinec on 07774 146 777.
Note to editors:
WHERE: Friday 20 April 2018, 12:30-13:30
WHERE: TGI Fridays Haymarket 25-29 Coventry St, London W1D 7AG
- 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.