Workers at TGI Fridays restaurants in Milton Keynes and Covent Garden, London, will strike on Friday 18 May, and then every Friday over the summer, over tips and minimum wage abuses which lose workers £250 a month.
The strike will be the first time TGI Fridays workers have ever struck in the UK, after the Unite members voted by 100% in favour of strikes.
TGI Fridays introduced a new tipping policy, at two days’ notice, which redirects tips received by waiting staff to kitchen staff. With low wages for kitchen staff causing a high turnover, TGI Fridays thought the ″solution″ to a problem of their own making would be taking from the poor to give to the even-poorer.
Strike ballots are currently underway in four more restaurants. Ballots at Trafford Centre, Manchester, and Haymarket, London Piccadilly, close on Friday 11 May. Ballots at two restaurants in Gateshead, and in Enfield, London, close on Friday 18 May.
A Unite press release said: “Our members are also deeply offended by the company’s attempts to make out that they don’t want to share when the reality is that TGI’s don’t want to give kitchen staff a properly funded pay rise. TGI’s staffing problems are being caused by its poor pay policy, not poorly paid workers.″
The strikes at TGI Fridays are part of Unite′s Fair Hospitality campaign which is campaigning for a real Living Wage, rest breaks, equal pay for young workers, anti-sexual harassment policies, minimum-hour contracts, and paid transport for workers working past midnight.
• More information on the Fair Hospitality campaign: www.fairhospitality.org
• Follow Unite′s Restaurant and Bar Workers′ workers branch on Twitter at: @RwUnite