Harrods has confirmed it will be distributing 100% of its discretionary 10% service charge directly to staff through an “improved tronc system” following protests over its tipping system.
The United Voices of the World union (UVW) claimed that Harrods retained up to 75% of the service charge collected at the 16 cafés and restaurants in the store, and organised protests outside the store earlier this month where demonstrators set off smoke bombs and two people were arrested.
Harrods released a statement, which read: “Over recent months, Harrods has been meeting with restaurant employees to discuss the system through which it distributes service charge. This has been in order to review all aspects of the current system and ensure that the service charge is distributed fairly to all restaurant staff.
“Following these discussions, Harrods is announcing a new system whereby 100% of a discretionary 10% service charge will be distributed directly to staff through an improved tronc system (except for the minor administration cost required to operate the tronc). Harrods has also appointed a new, independent troncmaster who will manage the tronc system autonomously on behalf of employees. As well as providing a fair arrangement for employees, Harrods wants to ensure that customers are presented with a transparent, reduced service charge, allowing them more discretion in the amount they would like to contribute.”
Petros Elia, general secretary of UVW, said: “The victory is significant on a number of levels. Firstly, it is incredibly important for Harrods restaurant staff who will now receive 100% of the service charge which equates to up to £5,000 more per year per worker.
“The victory also 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.”