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Unite protests over sacking of manager at PizzaExpress

20 March 2008 by

The Unite union has written directly to a senior director at Gondola Holdings, asking him to intervene personally in the case of a PizzaExpress manager who was allegedly sacked for talking to the media over a controversial tips policy.

Nabil Guirguis, who had worked at PizzaExpress since the 1990s, joined a Unite demonstration last September which was urging restaurant customers to ask owners how money paid for service charges was being handled. The union alleges that the company dismissed him for talking to the media about the company practice of deducting an 8% "administrative charge" from tips left for waiters on customer credit cards.

Unite held a protest against PizzaExpress in central London last Friday, highlighting Guirguis's case. It has now written to Gondola Holdings director Harvey Smith, asking for him to be reinstated.

"We have been shocked at this disgraceful treatment of Nabil Guirguis," said Unite regional industrial organiser Dave Turnbull. "He has been sacked for exercising his right to free speech and for taking part in legitimate trade union activity."

• Unite also organised a protest, alongside campaign group London Citizens, outside the Radisson Edwardian in Mayfair on Tuesday. Staff were protesting about what they described as a "two-tier workforce". They claimed that, while new housekeeping staff recruits were being paid national minimum wage (NMW), existing staff on higher wages had seen their pay frozen until NMW increases caught up with current pay.

Both PizzaExpress and Radisson Edwardian were unavailable for comment.

Publicans' union relaunches as Licensees Unite >>

Anger over wage probe's slow start >>

Union leaders launch campaign for fair tips >>

Ex-Greene King director to head up Pizza Express >>

By Daniel Thomas

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