A few weeks ago, a worker came to us with a dispute over an employer withholding Statutory Sick Pay, notice period pay and outstanding holiday entitlement owed to her.

Of further concern was that the employer had gained a reputation amongst the employees for being threatening and manipulative, and disputed the legitimacy of the workers on­site injury, even going to the length of making up a story of how the worker actually gained her injury through a car accident she never actually had!

Furthermore, evidence came to light of the employer 'fining' workers for completely innocuous acts in the arrangement and tidying of the cafe. In email correspondence the employer was evasive and two­faced; more willing to gossip about the worker, misinform and outright lie. Every attempt was made to confuse us or slander this person and the distress and frustration this must have caused can only be imagined.

Fortunately, through the courage and honesty of the worker and our insistence on sidestepping the nonsense and sticking to facts, we were able to negotiate a compensation of £360 agreeable to all involved. Deception and smoke and mirrors are endemic to our hyper­capitalist society and this victory goes to show that the only way forward is to unite, press forward and reject the lies when fighting for what we deserve.

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This article was published on 16 November 2015 by the SolFed group in Brighton. Other recent articles:

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