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Unite calls for crack-down on ‘dubious tipping practices'

12 February 2016 by
Unite calls for crack-down on ‘dubious tipping practices'

The Unite union has called for business secretary Sajid Javid to "stop dragging his feet" and to deliver his report on the investigation into tipping practices.

Labour MP Paula Sherriff put forward a parliamentary question yesterday (11 February) calling for a debate on the business department's consultation on tips and gratuities, which was supported by the union.

Last week Unite organised a "Fair Tips" protest to target American-style steakhouse STK London within the ME London hotel over claims it is not fairly distributing cash tips to staff.

Unite national officer Rhys McCarthy said: "We welcome Paula Sherriff's parliamentary question calling for a debate on the business department's long overdue consultation on tips and gratuities and for raising the tips abuse at Melia Hotels International.

"The business secretary Sajid Javid, made all the right noises in the heat of last summer's tipping abuse scandal when he launched an investigation into the murky world of tips and service charges. But three months after it closed in early November we are still no closer to the much needed crack-down on dubious tipping practices."

He claimed STK London in ME London hotel, owned by Melia Hotel International, was "using the service charge to top up the salaries of four senior managers by tens of thousands of pounds a year".

In response, Guillaume Marly, general manager at ME London, said: "ME London follows standard hospitality industry practice through the use of the tronc system. We are currently reviewing the service charge policy and have made great progress in our discussions with our employees and the union, to ensure that it reflects our staff and customers' views."

McCarthy of Unite added: "Customers are outraged to learn that their tips and service charge payments are not being paid to waiting and kitchen staff, but are used to fund everything from managers' bonuses to breakages. Customers crave transparency, as do the minimum-waged staff who serve them, but they aren't getting it under the current rotten system.

"Javid needs to stop dragging his feet and take action to clamp down on rogue restaurant and hotel bosses.

"We are calling on him to deliver his report and implement clear and mandatory rules giving staff 100% ownership rights over tips with control over how they are shared out. A failure to do so will give rogue bosses free reign to continue to find ways to dip into tips."

Protestors target STK and ME London over tipping policy claims >>

Unite calls for tipping transparency ahead of government review >>

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