Following today’s (11 February) parliamentary question by Labour MP Paula Sherriff, calling for a debate on the business department’s consultation on tips and gratuities, in light of the most recent service charge scandal revealed by Unite, the biggest union.
Unite national officer Rhys McCarthy said: “We welcome Paula Sherriff’s parliamentary question today calling for a debate on the business department’s long overdue consultation on tips and gratuities and for raising the tips abuse at Melia Hotels International.
“The business secretary Sajid Javid, made all the right noises in the heat of last summer’s tipping abuse scandal when he launched an investigation into the murky world of tips and service charges. But three months after it closed in early November we are still no closer to the much needed crack-down on dubious tipping practices.
"The tipping abuse scandal rocking the country’s hospitality industry shows no signs of abating. Only last week, Unite revealed that STK London, the upmarket Steakhouse restaurant inside the five star ME London Hotel, which is owned by the Melia Hotel International chain, was using the service charge to top up the salaries of four senior managers by tens of thousands of pounds- a- year each.
“It is not the only restaurant or hotel to use such scandalous loopholes to cheat staff out of their tips, but Melia hotels, instead of reneging on agreements to recognise Unite, can instead honour them and work with us to end workplace abuse.
“Customers are outraged to learn that their tips and service charge payments are not being paid to waiting and kitchen staff, but are used to fund everything from managers’ bonuses to breakages. Customers crave transparency, as do the minimum-waged staff who serve them, but they aren’t getting it under the current rotten system.
“Javid needs to stop dragging his feet and take action to clamp down on rogue restaurant and hotel bosses.
“We are calling on him to deliver his report and implement clear and mandatory rules giving staff 100 per cent ownership rights over tips with control over how they are shared out. A failure to do so will give rogue bosses free reign to continue to find ways to dip into tips.”
For more information please contact, Unite campaigns officer Chantal Chegrinec on 07774146777
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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