TGI Fridays staff in Milton Keynes joined workers from across London in strike action this bank holiday weekend, following a long-running dispute over policy changes that have seen staff lose up to £250 a month.
Staff from the Milton Keynes Stadium branch took action for a historic 5th and 6th time since the dispute began in January, when waiting staff were given just two days’ notice that 40 per cent of their card tips were to be taken and redistributed to kitchen teams. They were joined at the picket line by members of the Milton Keynes Labour Party, including Bletchley Park Councillor Elaine Wales and Central Milton Keynes Councillor Paul Williams.
In London, employees from the Stratford branch joined the strike action for the first time. In addition, employees from over 40 stores across the UK have submitted a collective grievance against the changes introduced by TGI Fridays UK
Local TGI worker Lauren Townsend said: “We are on strike because this ‘tip grab’ by TGI Fridays was enforced with little warning and without consultation of the team members it would affect. Workers in the restaurant by MK Stadium are deeply offended by the company’s attempts to make out that we don’t want to share, when the reality is that kitchen staff should be receiving a properly funded pay rise from the company. If all staff were paid a wage they could live on we wouldn’t be reliant on the generosity of our guests to make ends meet.”
The Industrial Action follows TGI Fridays’ repeated refusal to meet with Unite, who are representing workers at the company. The dispute also addresses several other issues relating to working conditions at the company, including concerns over minimum wage breaches, zero hour contracts, the loss of time and a half pay over Christmas and New Year and the company’s use of youth rates.
Lauren concluded: “I want to thank the many people who are supporting our strike action. It is important we stand up for fair pay and for a fair deal in all workplaces. We will continue to fight on for that fairness.”