STK, the trendy American steakhouse in the swanky ME hotel London will find itself in the spotlight this Christmas over its Scrooge like raid on staff tips and unfair practices.
Unite, Britain’s biggest union, will stage two days of protests outside the hotel’s restaurant on Thursday 17 and Friday 18 December.
WHEN: Thursday 17 and Friday 18 December at 18:00
WHERE: STK London, ME Hotel, 336-337 Strand, London WC2R 1HA
Protesters wearing Scrooge masks and holding fair tips placards will be urging management at the ME Hotel Aldwych to join Pizza Express and the Giraffe chain by scrapping the six per cent admin fee it takes from tips paid on a card.
The Scrooge-themed demo comes after Unite’s Fair Tips campaign, targeting Pizza Express, forced many of the UK’s most popular restaurant chains to drop the unfair practice of pocketing a percentage of staff tips as a so-called administration fee.
The union’s members, who work as waiters, bussers and runners at the hotel restaurant, have taken out a collective grievance against the ME Hotel Aldwych in an attempt to get their concerns over the company’s unfair tipping practices addressed.
Business secretary, Sajid Javid whose investigation launched in the wake of the tipping scandal and closed on 10 November, is reminded that staff and customers alike are crying out for justice. He must not introduce a system that will make it lawful for an employer to pocket a proportion of staff’s tips, the union has warned.
Unite regional officer Dave Turnbull, said: “Our members work hard day in and out, yet feel badly let down by their employer. They have deep concerns over the way the company operates its tronc scheme. We feel that the electronic tips’ pool system used to share out tips lacks fairness and transparency, not to mention the six per cent slice the company pockets from their hard earned tips.
“Our Fair Tips campaign has highlighted many such instances in London's top hotels, where highly dubious tronc schemes – the electronic tips’ pool system used by companies to share out tips - offer no transparency and are often directly and unfairly controlled by management.
“Many of the UK’s most popular restaurant chains realised that they were on the wrong side of public opinion. As a result they vowed to change their policies after the scandal hit the headlines over the summer. Now it's time for hotels to do likewise.
“The Meila Hotel Group, owners of the ME Hotel London, White House Regents Park and Inside Hotel in Manchester, has signed a global agreement with the International Union of Foodworkers which provides for access to trade unions and respect for the rights of workers to organise.
“So far the company has not reached any form of agreement with Unite on honouring the spirit of this agreement for its UK workforce in the three hotels it currently operates.
“Unite will be re-visiting this issue in the New Year and there are likely to be further protests at Melia’s three UK hotels if we are unable to get the company to abide by the ethical standards that it signed up to in its international commitments.”
For more information please contact, Unite campaigns officer Chantal Chegrinec on 07774146777
Twitter: @unitetheunion Facebook: unitetheunion1 Web: unitetheunion.org
Note to editors:
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