06.12.2021 / Press releases /

Harrods workers cancel Xmas strike after winning 25% pay rise

  • Christmas strike averted at luxury department store with hundreds of restaurant workers declaring victory in pay dispute after accepting pay rises of 25%.

  • Harrods’ offer to take pay above the London Living Wage came days into a ballot for strike action which could have seen workers walk out over the festive period.

  • Before United Voices of the World (UVW) began this dispute, the Qatari royal’s department store had been paying restaurant workers poverty wages of around £9 an hour.

Planned strikes over the Christmas period have been averted following Harrods’ pay offer which sees restaurant workers pay go up from £9.19 to £11.50 an hour, with chefs now earning upwards of £12.50. For some restaurant workers this pay rise is equivalent to around £5,000 extra a year. Some workers get pay rises of 25%, with annual increases of 3% also guaranteed from 2023 onwards.

Mihaly, restaurant worker at Harrods and UVW member, said: 

“After weeks of organising with our union UVW, we are delighted that our bosses have engaged with us and recognised our hard work. We will be getting the pay rise we have fought for and that we deserve – good news for us and workers beyond.”

Petros Elia, general secretary for UVW, said:

“This is yet another example of migrant workers spearheading the fightback against low pay in the UK for all workers. We’re proud to set a new benchmark for the sector, a sector notorious for poverty pay and appalling conditions. This is affirmation of the power of organised and strike-ready workers, this remains the biggest and most powerful tool in workers’ arsenal today. The fight does not stop here, we are now talking with retail staff to ensure they are not left behind. We’ve been saying it’s time for £12 and now that time has arrived.”

For further information contact the UVW comms team.

Isabel: 07706 987443
Jim: 07749 765264


Notes for editors

UVW previously won a dispute at Harrods in 2017 which saw restaurant workers win 100% of the service charge, when the company had been taking up to 75%.

UVW is an anti-racist, member-led, direct action, campaigning trade union and we exist to support and empower the most vulnerable groups of precarious, low-paid and predominantly BAME and migrant workers in the UK. We fight the bosses through direct action on the streets and through the courts and demand that all members receive at least the London Living Wage, full pay, sick pay, dignity, equality and respect.


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