THE US-owned restaurant chain TGI Fridays is facing waves of strike action starting tomorrow over a £250-a-month “wage grab” regarding waiting staff’s tips and failure to pay the minimum wage.
The members of the Unite union voted by 100 per cent, on a 75 per cent turnout, to walk out as unionisation of the British hospitality and fast food industry gathers pace.
Following first-time strike action at McDonald’s outlets in London and Manchester, TGI Fridays workers across the country will strike for the first time ever for 24 hours on alternate Fridays, starting with branches in Milton Keynes and Covent Garden tomorrow.
Unite said changes in the company’s policy on tipping could cost staff £250 a month, and that the company wants to use tips to serving staff to fund a pay rise for kitchen staff.
Lunchtime protests will be staged outside the two London branches from 11am tomorrow, followed by a low pay joint rally with McDonald’s workers from 2pm to 4pm at Unite’s offices in London.
There will be protests tomorrow outside at least a dozen TGI Fridays branches in Yorkshire and north-east England alone.
Workers at branches in Greater Manchester and Haymarket Piccadilly will strike on Friday May 25, followed by strikes at Enfield in London and Gateshead in Newcastle on Friday June 1.
Unite regional officer Dave Turnbull said: “Unite is warning TGI Fridays of a summer of disruption if management don’t do the decent thing and sit down with us to find a sensible solution to this dispute.
“We won’t back down, but we are ready to talk.”
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