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Transnational companies give in to demands following hotel picket

On Saturday March 22nd members of Brighton SolFed and Brighton Hospitality Workers (BHW) staged a well-attended picket of a local Travelodge hotel. This was an opening action in support of two of the hotel's former workers - both members of BHW - who were demanding full payment of owed holiday entitlement for annual leave they were prevented from taking. One of the workers had already had owed wages paid in full, following a demand letter from SolFed & BHW to the agency that held the staff contract at Travelodge. The agency - Jani-King GB - were an international recruitment exploiter based in the US with an appalling record of non-payment of wages & holiday pay. Jani-King closed their UK operation during our campaign and the majority of their staff were transferred to a new agency, HotelServe, whose director was contacted by alarmed Travelodge management.                                                                                                                                    Leaflets about the campaign, which included first-hand accounts of miserable working conditions at Travelodge, were handed to guests, placed on car windscreens and issued to both staff and management. The flustered manager engaged in discussions with two of our delegates, during the course of which the Travelodge area manager and HotelServe director were hurriedly contacted. We left promising to return with an escalating campaign of action, including a social media blockade which clearly got the attention of Travelodge and HotelServe directors. Later in the day the Travelodge manager contacted us to say that the matter had now become a priority and requesting that we suspend further action. The workers' demands were met within 3 days and full payment was subsequently made as, according to a HotelServe director, a 'gesture of goodwill' -  amazing how much goodwill a campaign of direct action can inspire! The payments exceeded £200 and SolFed / BHW now have a record of winning over £1,000 in unpaid wages for workers in Brighton's hospitality sector. The campaign goes from strength to strength as the word spreads about Brighton Hospitality Workers.



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