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The independent London newspaper

Corbyn backs TGI workers

Labour leader says waiters 'deserve our support'

30 May, 2018 — By Tom Foot

Supporting the strike

JEREMY Corbyn has backed workers at TGI Fridays in the Haymarket and Covent Garden after they walked out on strike.

The Labour leader said he had solidarity with the staff after meeting them. Staff at the restaurants are taking action over a tips policy they say is raking up to £250 a month off their pay.

In a statement, Mr Corbyn said: “Solidarity with TGI Fridays workers on strike against tips being taken from waiting staff to “top-up” low wages paid to kitchen staff.

“I met TGI workers last week and they deserve our support.”

Under the new system waiters’ tips are being pooled and also given to kitchen staff. Kitchen staff had been asking for a pay rise but instead they are being given some of the tips. The Covent Garden staff walked out last week for 24 hours and this week they are joined by Haymarket staff.

Regional officer Dave Turnbull said: “This strike is about more than tips. It’s about challenging bad practice by a profitable, hedge fund- owned company.”

TGI Fridays was sold to the private equity firm Electra in a £225million deal in 2014. It said: “Our team members are a part of our Fridays family, and we care about them. We believe all our team members should be – and are – treated and paid fairly. Despite this, a small number have voted to strike. We are listening to them and are collectively working to find a resolution. In the meantime, we will be doing all we can to ensure our guests receive the usual great dining experience and that the restaurant remains open as normal.”

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