Do you work in the hospitality sector?

Poster publicising the Brighton Hospitality Workers campaign

Are you:

  • getting paid below minimum wage?
  • working long shifts without break?
  • without a contract, written or verbal?
  • not getting paid holidays?

Overall the hospitality industry is notorious for long hours, low pay and precarious conditions. Howevere there are actions that can be taken to tackle this critical situation. If you want to discuss workplace issues, come and meet us!

Brighton Hospitality Workers: Dispute with Caffe Bar Italia enters second week

Brighton Solfed are continuing pickets of a rogue employer in Hove in solidarity with a former cafe worker, Yolanda, who is owed £1,264 in holiday pay and unpaid contracted hours. 

Over the past week, Brighton SolFed have proved to the pathetic boss of Caffe Bar Italia that this dispute will not disappear by pretending that nothing is happening. We have been very clear: we will not stop until Yolanda is paid the hours that she had guaranteed and her holiday entitlement.

Hospitality campaign takes on cafe in Hove

On Saturday, the 13th of December, the first picket against Caffe Bar Italia took place. Around 11 in the morning, a group of 10 SolFed members met in George Street (Hove) and after trying unsuccessfully to reach an agreement with the owner, started the picket outside the business.

This conflict started a few weeks ago when a worker contacted SolFed's Brighton Hospitality Workers because she had not been paid the amount of £1,264. Apart from the holiday pay that she was owed, her contract stipulated a minimum number of hours which were not offered to her. A demand letter was sent with the boss requested to respond. The boss refused to pay and insisted that he didn't have to pay her for “the hours she didn't work”; nevertheless, the law says that a worker should work at least the minimum hours his contract says.

Brighton Hospitality Workers: Carry on Picketing!

This summer, Brighton Hospitality Workers (BHW) took on one of the most uncompromising bosses we have faced. The owner (who shall henceforth be referred to as ‘V’) of a well-known local café had hired a worker with an agreement to pay her £6ph but when it came to payday, he only coughed up what amounted to £5ph and refused to pay her holiday pay. After V refused to pay her the remainder, the worker approached BHW, who agreed to support her in getting back her owed wages.

During the initial meeting with V, BHW delivered a letter outlining reasons for the conflict and the demands of the worker. The worker herself was too scared to face V. V was verbally and physically abusive, and refused to accept the letter (we left it on the premises anyway).

SolFed chalks up another wages win with Brighton Hospitality Workers

Victory in wages dispute! Following a prolonged campaign against a high-profile Brighton grocer, a former cashier worker & BHW member has received £1,250 in owed wages and unpaid holiday entitlement. The worker, who was on a zero-hours contract, was sacked without notice following 3 weeks when the bosses refused to give her any hours. She was also owed holiday pay from the previous & current holiday year for leave she was prevented from taking.

Transnational Companies Cave Into Wages Demands Following Picket

Another victory for Brighton Hospitality Workers and for direct action! In February, two members of Brighton Hospitality Workers (BHW) brought unpaid holiday entitlement issues to the group, incurred while both had worked at the Brighton premisis of a transnational hotel chain. The hotel's housekeeping staff were contracted to work there by the UK operation of an international recruitment exploiter with a reputation for withholding pay, particularly after contracts had been terminated. One worker was owed £286 in holiday pay for leave she was prevented from taking, despite repeated requests to her manager, as well as 2 days' outstanding sick pay. The second worker was owed £180 in holiday pay, also for leave she was prevented from taking, again despite repeated requests – in December her boss told her she 'had lost' her right to take paid leave.

Hospitality Workers Picketing Over Unpaid Annual Leave

On Saturday 22nd March members of the Brighton Hospitality Workers and Brighton Solidarity Federation picketted a prominent Brighton hotel over unpaid overtime owed to members of staff.

The hotel has since promised to ensure the overtime owed is fully paid. We are therefore not currently naming the hotel, although we intend to escalate our campaign should they fail to pay the workers involved.

Brighton Hospitality Workers: growing and getting results!

After several months of organising, Brighton Hospitality Workers are beginning to deliver the goods. Three members recently approached us with issues concerning unpaid wages and holiday entitlement from former employers, all with employment agencies and on zero-hours contracts. Demand letters were sent and within 48 hours one worker had wages paid in full, amounting to £264. However, the bosses were dragging their heels over paying holiday entitlement for untaken leave and another demand letter was sent, again resulting in payment of £95. Another worker’s demand letter resulted in payment of £358 in owed wages, although this should have been £385 and we’re not giving up on this. The third worker, who was with the same scumbag agency, is still owed £176 in unpaid holiday entitlement after the demand letter was ignored.

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We are an anarcho-syndicalist union based in Brighton. We have ongoing campaigns in Hospitality and in Health & social care, but we aim to organise with workers of all industries and none. We also have a very active housing union.

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