Workers at TGI Fridays’ restaurants in Milton Keynes and Covent Garden, London will be going on strike for the first time ever this Friday, 18 May 20148, in a 24 hour strike over a tip policy change which could cost waiting staff £250 a month in lost wages.
Unite, Britain’s biggest union, will mark the actions with lunchtime protests outside the two branches from 11am, before moving to a low pay rally in central London with workers from the fast food giant McDonalds to demand better pay and conditions.
Unite is urging the company to work with the workers' union on a fair solution and to rebuild trust, or to risk a summer of disruption as weekly 24 hour strikes threaten to hit the American dining chain on consecutive Fridays.
Workers at two further restaurants - in the Trafford Centre, Greater Manchester, and Haymarket Piccadilly in London - have also voted to walk-out, with their first strike action expected next Friday, 25 May 2018.
The results of the final two industrial action ballots at Enfield, Greater London, and Gateshead Metro, Newcastle, are due on Friday, 18 May 2018, meaning that staff at all six restaurants could be on strike from Friday, 1 June 2018.
Unite regional officer Dave Turnbull said: “Unite is warning TGI Fridays of a summer of disruption if management don’t do the decent thing and sit down with us to find a sensible solution to this dispute.
“Our members have sent a very clear message that they will not roll over and be bullied into having their tips taken, without any consultation and with just two days’ notice - a move that will leave waiting staff up to £250 a month worse off.
“This isn’t about minimum wage servers not wanting to share with their kitchen colleagues. It’s about a company whose shareholders have gotten so greedy that they no longer want to pay their hardworking staff anything above the bare minimum.
“We are calling on TGI Fridays customers’ not to cross the picket line this Friday. Sign our letter to the CEO, Karen Forrester urging her to work with us and Acas to find a better way forward.
“We won’t back down, but we are ready to talk. TGI Fridays is urged to take us up on this offer and work together with Acas to start rebuilding trust.”
The dispute arose when the company introduced a new tipping policy with only two days’ notice which would see money earned by the waiting staff redirected to top up the low wages of kitchen staff, a move driven by the need to stop the high turnover of kitchen staff.
The move means waiting staff could lose up to £65 per week from their wage packets.
SIGN OUR LETTER TO TGI FRIDAYS CEO, KAREN FORRESTER - We're urging her to sit down with workers and Unite to find a sensible solution to this dispute.
Tweet @TGIFridaysUK - Tell them you support the waiting staff and to pay staff fairly!