TGI Fridays faced protests and a three day strike over fair pay and tips over the August Bank Holiday weekend.
The dispute arose when the company introduced a new tipping policy in January with only two days’ notice which has seen card tips earned by the waiting staff redirected to top up the low wages of kitchen staff, a move the company claims is driven by the need to stop the high turnover of kitchen staff. Read an account from waiting staff here
Unite regional officer Dave Turnbull said: “It is inexcusable that a company, which claims to have the best interests of its workers at heart, can continue to refuse to sit down with our members and their union to settle this dispute.
“It takes immense courage to take on a hedge-funded owed, multi-million company like TGI Fridays but the support that our members have had from the public has been great.
“It is companies like TGI Fridays that give the hospitality industry a bad reputation. The sooner it realises that workers will no longer stand idly by and be exploited, the better it will be.
“Unite will continue to make the case for action in these branches to expose bad practice across the entire business.
“Our message to the company is ‘pay your staff fairly and talk to the union’. Together we can find a sensible solution to this dispute.”
On Friday, 24th August, Unites’ Greenwich, Lewisham & Bexley Community Branch Chair Alan Hall joined the picket line in Covent Garden, London chanting:
“Forget the burgers, forget the chips, we want fair tips”