Unite press release

For immediate release: Tuesday 9 August 2022

Minimum wage workers at £610 a night Scottish hotel, Cameron House, in revolt over ‘staggering tips abuse’

Low paid bar and restaurant staff losing between £200 - £300 a month in employers’ tips fiasco

Unite demands a fairer system

Minimum wage workers at Cameron House, a luxury hotel on Loch Lomond, where a bottle of wine can cost up to £1,200, are fighting back against losing hundreds of pounds worth of tips and service charges.

Unite says the bar and restaurant staff at the luxury hotel are in revolt over what amounts to the misappropriation of their hard-earned tips. Former US president, Barack Obama, has been a guest.  

Around 60 workers are protesting about an opaque tips system for the distribution of tens of thousands of pounds worth of tips and service charges at the hotel resort. In January, the hotel management introduced a ten per cent service charge. Bar and restaurant staff have since found that they are now between £200 and £300 pounds a month worse off.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Minimum wage workers are losing hundreds of pounds worth of tips at Cameron House, one of Scotland’s top-drawer luxury hotels. This is staggering abuse - a posh resort for the rich fleecing the tips of minimum-wage workers.

“The workers are fighting back and they have Unite’s rock solid support. The hotel faces significant reputational damage unless it acts to end this injustice.”

Unite is calling for a new “Tips Committee” made up of bar and restaurant staff to oversee the democratic and proportionate distribution of service charges and card tips. It is a system recommended by HMRC and due to become law as early as this year (see notes to editors).

The hotel's opaque practices include Cameron House withholding 100 per cent of all card tips which are not distributed until the end of the year. The luxury resort also retains 15 per cent of the service charge to pay all staff, not just the bar and waiting staff, a Christmas bonus. But the hotel management will not explain how the money is distributed.

Unite hospitality organiser, Bryan Simpson, said: "A month after our members submitted this collective grievance, Cameron House senior management continue to refuse to honour the key commitments they made during negotiations. They need to ensure tips are distributed fairly, transparently and democratically. Our members have had enough and will be escalating their campaign for fair tips at Cameron House."  


Contact: Ciaran Naidoo on 07768 931 315 

Twitter: @unitetheunion Facebook: unitetheunion1 Instagram: unitetheunion Web: unitetheunion.org

Unite is the UK and Ireland’s leading union fighting to protect and advance jobs, pay and conditions for members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Sharon Graham. 

Notes to Editors 

Following industrial and political pressure from Unite, the Government confirmed that it would be supporting the Employment (Allocation of Tips) Bill 

A Tips Committee known as a TRONC is a special pay arrangement used to distribute tips, gratuities and service charges. Commonly a TRONC is a central pool of funds in which some or all of the tips and service charges paid by customers are distributed to employees.

In 2017, Unite and ALMR (Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers) developed a code of practice for tipping which called on employers to establish TRONC Committees - elected by the workforce - to oversee the fair and transparent distribution of tips and service charges.