Brighton Solfed's campaign in the hospitality sector finishes the year with success in two further cases. In the first, a worker from an Italian restaurant took on his former bosses for their bullying and stealing part of his wages. In the second case, an agency worker had not been paid all of her holiday pay. Find out how the two workers fared with Solfed support.
Brighton Solfed are continuing pickets of a rogue employer in Hove in solidarity with a former cafe worker, Yolanda, who is owed £1,264 in holiday pay and unpaid contracted hours.
Over the past week, Brighton SolFed have proved to the pathetic boss of Caffe Bar Italia that this dispute will not disappear by pretending that nothing is happening. We have been very clear: we will not stop until Yolanda is paid the hours that she had guaranteed and her holiday entitlement.
Christmas edition with articles on a BHW dispute with a cafe, agency work, and zero hours contracts.
On Saturday, the 13th of December, the first picket against Caffe Bar Italia took place. Around 11 in the morning, a group of 10 SolFed members met in George Street (Hove) and after trying unsuccessfully to reach an agreement with the owner, started the picket outside the business.
This conflict started a few weeks ago when a worker contacted SolFed's Brighton Hospitality Workers because she had not been paid the amount of £1,264. Apart from the holiday pay that she was owed, her contract stipulated a minimum number of hours which were not offered to her. A demand letter was sent with the boss requested to respond. The boss refused to pay and insisted that he didn't have to pay her for “the hours she didn't work”; nevertheless, the law says that a worker should work at least the minimum hours his contract says.
This summer, Brighton Hospitality Workers (BHW) took on one of the most uncompromising bosses we have faced. The owner (who shall henceforth be referred to as ‘V’) of a well-known local café had hired a worker with an agreement to pay her £6ph but when it came to payday, he only coughed up what amounted to £5ph and refused to pay her holiday pay. After V refused to pay her the remainder, the worker approached BHW, who agreed to support her in getting back her owed wages.
During the initial meeting with V, BHW delivered a letter outlining reasons for the conflict and the demands of the worker. The worker herself was too scared to face V. V was verbally and physically abusive, and refused to accept the letter (we left it on the premises anyway).
Touted by some union leaders as the largest co-ordinated union action in British history, July 10 sees millions of public sector workers from across the country on strike. During the one-day action – with the promise of more days to follow - local government workers will join teachers, civil servants, fire fighters and many others.
July 10 public sector strike, stolen wage disputes at a restaurant and a greengrocer, and holiay pay.
Launch of the BHW campaign, migrant worker experience, hotel cleaner wage dispute, and your rights when starting a new job.
Victory in wages dispute! Following a prolonged campaign against a high-profile Brighton grocer, a former cashier worker & BHW member has received £1,250 in owed wages and unpaid holiday entitlement. The worker, who was on a zero-hours contract, was sacked without notice following 3 weeks when the bosses refused to give her any hours. She was also owed holiday pay from the previous & current holiday year for leave she was prevented from taking.
Another victory for Brighton Hospitality Workers and for direct action! In February, two members of Brighton Hospitality Workers (BHW) brought unpaid holiday entitlement issues to the group, incurred while both had worked at the Brighton premisis of a transnational hotel chain. The hotel's housekeeping staff were contracted to work there by the UK operation of an international recruitment exploiter with a reputation for withholding pay, particularly after contracts had been terminated. One worker was owed £286 in holiday pay for leave she was prevented from taking, despite repeated requests to her manager, as well as 2 days' outstanding sick pay. The second worker was owed £180 in holiday pay, also for leave she was prevented from taking, again despite repeated requests – in December her boss told her she 'had lost' her right to take paid leave.