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Brighton Hospitality Workers

A restaurant in The Lanes paid up!

In the hospitality sector in Brighton it is very common to find employers who do not pay the minimum wage or pay the holidays owed to their workers. This problem is more common for migrants who do not necessarily have a great command of language or a thorough knowledge of labor laws.

This was the case for an employee of a restaurant in The Lanes. His situation in the workplace was made more complicated by the fact the rest of the kitchen staff, like him, were migrants, so communication was very difficult. He was paid minimum wage, 6.5 pounds per hour, and last minute changes to the rota were quite common, sometimes reaching up to 50 hours per week.

Un restaurante en The Lanes (Brighton) paga lo adeudado a un trabajador

En el sector de la hostelería en Brighton es muy habitual encontrarse con empresarios que no pagan el salario mínimo o que intentan no pagar las vacaciones a sus trabajadores. Esta problemática es más común en los trabajadores migrantes que no tienen un gran dominio del idioma ni un conocimiento profundo de la legislación laboral.

Este el caso de un trabajador de un restaurante en The Lanes. El entorno en que se desarrollaba su trabajo era bastante complejo, el resto del personal de la cocina, como él, eran inmigrantes, por lo que la comunicación se hacía muy complicada. Su trabajo se abonaba con el mínimo posible, 6,5 libras por hora, y los cambios de horarios a última hora eran bastante habituales, alcanzando en algunos casos jornadas semanales de más de 50 horas.

The Caffe Bar Italia dispute is resolved

The Caffe Bar Italia conflict is finally resolved after over 4 months of actions as the former worker has accepted an offer from the boss. This follows weekly pickets and a social media campaign during which we received increasing support & interest from locals & contacts, many of whom boycotted the cafe. The boss' behaviour became increasingly irrational & desperate and he recently admitted to the damage we were causing to his business, despite calling cops every time we picketed and trying to incite us. Brighton SolFed Hospitality Workers proved to bosses that we're in it for the long run & are capable of maintaining an extended high profile dispute. We would like to thank all supporters for their dedication and fighting spirit, and extend solidarity to the worker, who was strong throughout!

Brighton pub pays up

On Tuesday March 17th, St. Patrick's Day, a group of around 10 people accompanied a former worker of the pub. The aim was to ask if the management had an answer to the demands that he, in conjunction with Brighton Solidarity Federation, had made the previous week.

The pub is located in the Western Road area and the worker was a kitchen porter for about a year before he was sacked without any notice. As usual, he was on minimum wage and a zero-hours contract, the worst conditions the law allows.

However, the company decided this wasn't enough and didn't pay him for holiday leave not taken and the one week notice period.

Caffe Bar Italia : frequently asked questions

For the past few weeks we've been holding weekly pickets of a cafe in Hove in support of a former worker who was not paid properly. We have talked to hundreds of people and here we are addressing some of the most commonly asked questions about the case.

Yolanda worked at Caffe Bar Italia from May until September 2014 on a 20hours/week contract at £6.50/hour. However the cafe management didn't pay her for the contracted 20 weekly hours as she was sent home whenever this suited the cafe - in violation of her legal contract. On top of that she wasn't paid her holiday entitlement. Yolanda then approached us for support.

In late November we went to Caffe Italia to hand over a letter explaining the situation, and to have a chat to find an amicable solution.  We acceeded to several of the cafe's requests to be given more time until a meeting was agreed in the presence of their solicitor for December. The cafe cancelled this with 2 hours notice, refusing to communicate further. At the same time the cafe put pressure on Yolanda through mutual friends. This left us with no option but to start our public campaign on 13. December, which we have maintained since. Soon after, Yolanda left the UK - if it's hard to live on a part-time minimum-wage  job, it becomes impossible when you don't get paid for nearly half your contracted hours.

Cafe Bar Italia is still refusing to pay!

In recent weeks, we have continued our public campaign against Caffe Bar Italia for unpaid holiday and unpaid contracted hours for a total of £1.264 to Yolanda, a former worker.

In February, Brighton SolFed decided to temporarily suspend the actions because what seemed an attempt by the management to solve the conflict and pay what the worker is owed. However, the company offered only a fraction of the amount owed, fully taking advantage of Yolanda's precarious situation.

Caffe Bar Italia sigue sin pagar

Durante las últimas semanas, se ha retomado la campaña pública contra Caffe Bar Italia por el impago de vacaciones y horas del contrato por un total de 1264 libras (unos 1700 euros).

Hace unas semanas, Brighton SolFed decidió paralizar las acciones de denuncia debido a lo que pareció un intento del establecimiento de solucionar el conflicto y pagar lo que adeuda a la trabajadora. Sin embargo, la parte empresarial solo ofrecía una mínima parte de la cantidad que adeuda, aprovechándose de la situación que sufre Yolanda.

Victory Against Junk (Food) Jobs

Last month, our Brighton Hospitality Workers campaign won a dispute against a local fast food business which we discovered has a pecular top-down and fraudulent way of operating - keeping workers under constant surveillance while systematically stealing their wages. Here we analyse the course of the dispute and talk to the two workers who decided they'd take on their former boss.

Fighting from everywhere - Juventud Sin Futuro

Cuando volvió al trabajo después de unas vacaciones se encontró, para su sorpresa, a otra trabajadora en su lugar y, en lugar de finiquito, la frase "no vengas más: ya no te necesitamos". Sin aviso, sin indemnización... sin apenas excusa. Ella era una inmigrante española sin contrato escrito y con poco dominio del idioma o las leyes británicas y estas, la justicia, estaban del lado de aquellos que la habían humillado. Parecía que no hubiera nada que pudiera hacer.

Do you work in the hospitality sector?

Poster publicising the Brighton Hospitality Workers campaign

Are you:

  • getting paid below minimum wage?
  • working long shifts without break?
  • without a contract, written or verbal?
  • not getting paid holidays?

Overall the hospitality industry is notorious for long hours, low pay and precarious conditions. Howevere there are actions that can be taken to tackle this critical situation. If you want to discuss workplace issues, come and meet us!

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