Thursday, May 07, 2009

Victory for the Fair Tips Campaign

The unbelievable scam of big corporations nicking the waiters' spare change may soon come to an end.

Remember last year's Fair Tips Campaign? Well, after a year of hearing the big restaurant chains arguing the toss, the Unions scored a massive victory.

The Government announced yesterday "that restaurants and caf├ęs will be banned from using tips to pay basic wages from October". Chains such as Cafe' Rouge and Bella Italia were in fact routinely paying their staff below the minimum wage (as little as £3 an hour), using a portion of the tips to cover the difference while scrounging the remaining part.

Most pathetically, the British Hospitality Association, which represents the hotel and restaurant business, warned that ending the scam may result in "as many as 45,000 job losses".

Yet some of these scrounging freeloaders, just to give you an idea, belong to American private equity giant Blackstone - a company which "recorded a 56 per cent rise on its pre-tax profits last year to £44m on earnings of £248m".

And now the same owners of Porsches and Mercedeses, mansions and swimming pools, the makers of glossy 'Welcome Packs' that tell you how to smile (each costing ten times more than a waiter's daily wage), would really rather leave their Pizza Express branch understaffed than hand the tips back to their legitimate owners.

If the bloodsuckers really fear for their humongous dividends, maybe they could try and cut down on those managers' meetings at luxury hotels with free food, entertainment or even trips to exotic places.

Or perhaps, if it's true that 45,000 really may have to go, then the businessmen and women should try and wait on tables themselves and then see what it looks like when money handed over to you as a tip to a faultless service is snatched before you even find out.

1 comment:

Richard T said...

I haven't been so angry in oo at least 2 days hearing the report of imminent penury for restaurant owners. If they can't survive without stealing the workers, wages, they don't deserve to be in business. But as you say of course the multiples can. Just don't hold your breath for the catering industry's corporate hysteria about an increase in the minimum wage. Bastards