Grosvenor House Hotel, Park Lane, London. Thu 21 May 2015
Unite Hotel workers branch greets police officer outside the hotel
Ewa hands out name labels of various people involved in National Waiters Day
Rather than organising a race for waiters, the union would like the employers to end to poor conditions, poverty wages,
zero hours contracts and management stealing of tips.
The founder of National Waiters day was Fred Sirieix, which led to a repeated pun 'You can't be sirieix!'
A court case over the waiters at this hotel led to the first zero hours contracts
In 1983, waiters on casual contracts working in the Banqueting Suite of the Grovsenor House hotel tried to organise a union and were dismissed.
They went to court claiming unfair dismissal, but the employer claimed that as 'casuals' and not 'employees'
they did not have equal rights with the other waiters. The court agreed, establishing the legal basis for zero hours contracts.
It was Alexander Irvine QC, later Chancellor in the Blair Labour government who put forward the argument which denied workers rights,
and Labour governments since have failed to give workers back their rights.
Sister Ruth supported the waiters and spoke briefly on the gospel basis for fair labour laws
Ian Hodson, President of the Bakers, Food & Allied Workers Union, BFAWU, speaking
Getting ready for the race along a short length of Park Lane in front of the hotel
and the race was of course fixed. A hotel employee takes pictures on his phone
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