Strike over wage “abuses” at TGI Fridays

Workers at some TGI Friday’s outlets will this month take their first strike action in a dispute over tips and “minimum wage abuses”, according to the union Unite.

The American dining chain, which has 81 restaurants in the UK, will be hit with a series of 24-hour walkouts starting on Friday May 18th and continuing over consecutive Fridays during the summer.

The dispute concerns a new tipping policy, reportedly introduced with only two days’ notice, which will mean money earned by the waiting staff is redirected to “top up the low wages of kitchen staff”, a statement on Unite’s website reads. The move means waiting staff can lose “up to £65 per week” from their wage packets.

TGI Fridays told reporters that its treatment of workers remains fair.

The Socialist Worker newspaper warned that “instead of a united struggle against management, [the dispute] could pit waiting and kitchen workers against each other”.

TGI Fridays isn’t the only chain facing strike action. Earlier this month, a handful of McDonald’s staff took action over zero-hours contracts and working conditions.

McDonald’s recently offered all 120,000 employees the chance to move to fixed hours contracts, but four in five opted to stay on existing contracts, the company said.

Restaurants are not allowed to use tips to make up national minimum wage pay.

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