A worker organising with Brighton Solidarity Federation has won a dispute with their seafront employer.
The worker was employed over the Christmas period in the kitchen of the hotel. In the space of one month, the worker was not paid for 3 days worked, did not receive a contracted gratuities (tips and a bonus) payment and did not receive any holidays. These totaled up to over £1000 - quite an amount for just over a month's work.
Wage theft in the hospitality sector in Brighton is rife, and missing holiday entitlement is particularly common. Holiday entitlement starts accruing from the moment you start work and there are useful calculators online that can work out if you are owed any: https://www.gov.uk/calculate-your-holiday-entitlement.
Along with the worker, the Solfed local handed in a letter spelling out what was owed. After one brief picket, management from the hotel came out and agreed to hold a meeting to discuss the issue.
The meeting was long and the management of the hotel came up with a series of offers, but the worker was resolute with the group by their side and demanded that they were paid the full amount that was owed. In the end the management paid out more than they had demanded as it turned out that the worker had also worked an unpaid trial shift.
This shows what can be achieved when you stand up to your boss. Organising in your workplace is the best way to stop exploitation. Brighton SolFed run training courses to help with workplace organising, if you are interested or need some help with an issue at work, contact them on [email protected].