From the TUC

Sophie and the campaign for fair tipping – #heartunions

12 Feb 2017, By

8th – 14th February 2017 is #heartunions week, celebrating the great work unions do, and paying tribute to the reps who are an important part of that. The Unsung Heroes series is running all week, sharing stories from reps and members about how being part of their union has impacted their lives.

Sophie joined Unite because she knew the importance of support in her industry.

“Working in hospitality can be really insecure. There are lots of young people and migrants. You can be especially vulnerable if you don’t know your rights. That’s why it’s important to know the union has got your back.”

As part of the union, she’s been involved in campaigns that have a huge impact on the daily lives of hospitality workers.

“We recently ran a campaign on fair tipping. Waiting staff often have their tips stolen by their company from payments made by card. We were sick and tired of hearing about awful practices in the sector where it seemed obvious to us that front of house and kitchen staff should get the tips.

“We focused on Pizza Express. We staged protests, got media interest and signed up the restaurant staff to the union.”

The campaign for fair tips showed that collective, organised action can be really effective – and that’s inspired Sophie to remain an active part of her union.

“Customers started to ask where their money was going. Pizza Express dropped their so-called “admin fee” on card payments following our actions. So did the burger chain Giraffe. The government even published a report to promote fair tipping practices as a result of our campaign.

“It showed me how much power we have. It highlighted the real benefits of trade unions to make serious, positive changes in people’s lives and be a force for good in society. I am definitely looking to get more active in my union and get better and better working terms and conditions for myself and others.”

The big aim for #heartunions week is to encourage more people to join a union. Please share this page with friends, colleagues and neighbours. If we each get one person to join a union this week, we’ll be well on the way to getting a better deal for working people all year round.

To find a union –

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