Victory at Harrods - 100% of the tips for staff
Harrods' chefs and waiters who are members of UVW have been successful in their campaign to get the prestigious department store to stop stealing their employees' tips. Harrods had previously been taking up to 75% for themselves, without admitting the exact percentage. This was equivalent to around £5000 per worker per year.
After Harrods' chefs and waiters joined UVW we immediately submitted a claim for 100% of the service charge to go to staff.
We helped some of the chefs and waiters build towards a potential strike and mobilised hundreds of people for a massive demonstration which ended up shutting down Knigtsbridge and much of Harrods. With threats of regular and even bigger demonstrations to come, Harrods finally gave in and agreed to give 100% of the service charge to staff.
They also agreed to our other demands of appointing an independent tronc master to administer the service charge and allowing staff to sit on the tronc committee.
This victory sends out a clear message to the rest of the restaurant and hospitality industry that workers are no longer going to accept anything less than 100% of the tips and trade unions are ready to help them get organised and fight.
The success of the campaign at Harrods offers a powerful model to follow for other workers across the industry.
We will now continue to push Harrods to improve the conditions and pay of their workers and demand proper union recognition.