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Brighton Hospitality Workers

Precarious Mayday marks the start of dispute with Ephesus restaurant

This year's mayday was celebrated in Brighton with the coming together of different local unions and groups organising against casualised working conditions and the housing crisis. The demo soon headed for a local restaurant that has been underpaying one of our members, and demanding they be paid. The protest marks the start of a dispute, continuing our efforts over the past few years of trying to bring International Workers Day back to its roots in worker militancy and anarchist labour organising. 

School Dinner Discipline: a little bit of solidarity can go a long way

A dinner lady came to Brighton SolFed when there was nowhere left to go. They were facing a disciplinary hearing after being unfairly blamed for an incident, and they additionally were refused mainstream union representation. Brighton Hospitality Workers helped the worker prepare for the disciplinary and accompanied them to this stressful encounter. Solidarity means supporting your fellow workers, solidarity is what makes us strong.

Brighton hospitality worker gets £600 payout after demanding holiday pay for herself and her workmates

Holiday pay is a common problem faced by workers in the hospitality industry - especially those on zero-hour contracts who are often unaware of of their legal right to holiday pay. Recently we supported a waitress from a cafe in the North Laine who was demanding holiday pay for herself and her workmates - and who managed to get the £600 she was owed.

A story about the everyday power of a solidarity network

I worked a trial shift at the Ginger Dog pub. I was told that it would last for a 'couple' of hours. After three hours of working, I was told that it was going really well and that I had the job. In my experience, bosses in the hospitality sector will say this just to get people to work longer for free. I was asked to stay on and agreed to work for an extra three hours, meaning that I worked for six hours in total. I decided after this to not take the job and I contacted them the next day to tell them. I also requested payment for the full six hours worked. They did not respond to my email. I sent them another email and received no response again. I emailed them again and told them that if they didn't pay me, I would take action via Brighton SolFed, and I sent them some links to articles about previous cases.

Shoddy Employment, Shoddy Boss

No contracts, unsure of the terms of employment, working to the whim of management, sound familiar? We are currently in a dispute with  Upper Crust Hove (no not the yellow chain everywhere) the one in West Hove’s golf club.

The worker came to Solfed for help after not being paid her full notice period pay, following having her hours changed upon them, which in effect forced them to leave employment.

This was not a mutual agreement; this was punishment for taking an agreed holiday which management forgot about.

Due to the fact nothing was laid out before hand, the ambiguity of terms and conditions leaves the power to management to do as they  please. That is until workers start fighting for themselves.

Jimmy's Restaurant at Brighton Marina has closed because it is a scam

Brighton SolFed started a dispute with Jimmy's Restaurant's Marina branch regarding wage theft. The Restaurant was part of a bigger scam and tax fraud involving different branch and companies.

The Amsterdam Hotel former worker got paid after organizing

A former housekeeper in The Amsterdam Hotel received the full payment of his holiday entitlement after joining a SolFed campaign against wages theft.

Cheese & Toast former worker got paid after organizing

Last month, Cheese & Toast, a cafe in Lewes Road, paid one of its former workers after having been contacted by SolFed.

Jimmy's Still Does Not Pay, Action Spreads

After three weeks of action, Jimmy's Restaurant (on the Brighton Marina) is still avoiding their responsibilities. Three former workers are still campaigning to get their holiday pay and their P45 documents and we keep receiving contacts of workers facing the same situation.

From the beginning, the management of the restaurant has been denying any responsibility and addressing us to the “Head Office” who, curiously enough, never answer the phone or emails.

Moreover, last week we found out that the workers, having received their payslips with their tax deductions, are not in the records of the HMRC as having worked for Jimmy's. No explanation has been given by Jimmy's but we do hope that this is a misunderstanding.

Jimmy's dispute spreads to Bath

Three Bristol Solidarity Federation members travelled to Bath today (26th March 2016) on an Easter Bank Holiday weekend to picket the ‘Jimmy's' restaurant there after a request from the Brighton Hospitality Workers for collective national direct action against their bosses after they refused to pay them about £1,500 in owed wages and have yet to supply them with a P45.

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