Hospitality Today July-Aug 2016 - Page 17

hospitalitytoday.com | 17 Unite has accused hotel bosses of “heavy-handed, anti-union bias” over the sacking and “victimization” of the Hungarian waiter, who had been leading a waiters’ grievance against the hotel’s tipping practices and was active in Unite’s ‘union recognition’ campaign. “Equally, diners deserve the right to expect that the tip they leave will indeed be paid in full to the waiter, or at the very least shared fairly amongst the staff.” Linehan said many restaurants were already adhering to the highest standards of fairness and transparency, but that the Government’s intervention was welcome on the back of reports of more opaque practices being run by a number of businesses. “Restaurant customers crave and deserve transparency. Service charges are optional and discretionary and so a continued failure to match these expectations by communicating clearly, will be bad for business as, ultimately, diners will refuse to pay them,” he added. “The Government’s intervention is long overdue and we would strongly support any proposals that ensure a fairer regime for both waiting staff and diners.” Meanwhile the trade union Unite has lodged a claim with the employment tribunal over what it believes is the unfair sacking of ‘fair tips’ activist, Robert Czegely, a waiter at the five star STK restaurant in the Melia ME Hotel in Aldwych, central London. A protest in support of the sacked waiter was held on 6th June outside the hotel. Unite London regional officer for the hospitality sector Dave Turnbull said: “It is truly shameful that a few days after business secretary, Sajid Javid indicated that he would act to ensure transparency and fairness on tips and service charges, a global hotel chain, such as Melia, should sack an employee for supporting our campaign to achieve this outcome. “Melia proudly boasts of its ethical business stance on workers’ rights, yet this sacking flies in the face of any such claims. We are clear that this dismissal was in breach of Robert’s basic legal right to join and participate in a trade union. “It also brings into sharp focus the need for the business secretary to underpin any regulation on tips and service charge with additional worker protection.”