The Unite union has launched an extraordinary attack on the British Hospitality Association (BHA), claiming the industry body has "lost credibility" with the Government following the debate over new tips legislation.
The union, which led the ultimately successful campaign to close the loophole allowing restaurants to use tips to make up the minimum wage, hit out at the BHA for claiming that the new law would cost waiting staff their jobs.
Dave Turnbull, industry organiser at Unite, said the BHA's claims echoed its unsuccessful opposition to the introduction of the national minimum wage.
"The BHA was proved wrong when it claimed that thousands of workers would lose their jobs after the national minimum wage came in, and the BHA has made itself look ridiculous again by claiming that stopping bosses stealing tips will cost workers their jobs," he told the Morning Star newspaper.
"It has lost credibility with the Government because of these tactics, and it has shown itself to be completely devoid of ideas and redundant of any ability to do anything. It's no wonder that some companies - such as the huge catering firm Compass - have decided to pull out of the association."
Last December, Caterersearch revealed that Compass Group had decided to quit the BHA because the industry body had "become too big" to effectively represent the contract catering sector.
Turnbull also claimed that some restaurant companies are threatening to rip up workers' contracts following the introduction of the tips legislation.
"Where some workers were already paid more than the minimum wage, the restaurants are trying to get away with cutting their basic hourly rate to £5.80 - and then use tips to make their wages up to what they had before," he said.
The BHA declined to comment.
By Daniel Thomas
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