Hospitality workers to stage a day of action over pay

Hospitality workers, couriers and cab drivers will join a day of action on Thursday, including strikes, in separate disputes over pay and union recognition.

Staff from several branches of McDonald’s and TGI Fridays restaurants and two Wetherspoon pubs in Brighton, as well as some Uber Eats and Deliveroo couriers and Uber drivers will take industrial action and take part in demonstrations.

A rally will be held in London and action take place in cities including Brighton, Bristol, Cardiff, Glasgow, Newcastle, Plymouth and Southampton.

The day of action is being organised by War On Want, Unite and the Bakers, Food and Allied Workers Union.

Unite members at TGI Fridays restaurants in Milton Keynes and two in London will stage their eighth walkout as part of a long-running dispute over a change in tips policy they say has left waiting staff £250 a month worse off.

Unite national officer Rhys McCarthy said hospitality workers were “finding their voice”, adding: “These workers have had enough of low pay and insecure work.

“They are leading a growing movement against low pay and insecure work in the hospitality sector and across the gig economy.”

The McDonald’s, TGI Fridays and Wetherspoons workers are demanding better working conditions across the hospitality sector, pay of £10 an hour, and an end to “precarious” contracts.

Fast food workers in the United States are also on strike this week over pay.

A spokesman for TGI Fridays said: “Our team members are a part of our Fridays family. We believe they should be, and are, treated and paid fairly.

“Out of a workforce of over 5,500 team members, less than 1% are involved in this action”.

An Uber Eats spokesman said: “In response to feedback from couriers we’ve made some changes to our payment structure in London, which brings it into line with other cities.

“The changes will help increase earnings during busy mealtimes and, as we transition to the new system, we’re introducing minimum payment guarantees of £9-11 an hour.

“Making improvements in response to courier feedback is a top priority, such as the sickness, injury, maternity and paternity protections we recently introduced. Our door is always open for individual couriers to speak to us about any issues they’re having.”

Steve Garelick, of the GMB union, said: “The continued attacks made on workers from rate reduction without consultation to gratuities being hived off show that there is nothing wholesome in the service and gig economy sector.”

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