Dear Karen Forrester,

With women around the world calling for stronger rights, equality and justice on International Women’s Day (8 March), and mums being celebrated on Mother’s Day (11 March), we are writing to express our outrage over the handling of your recent controversial tip policy change, which disproportionately affects women workers.

We urge you to listen to what a 40 per cent cut in card tips means to your lowest paid, mainly female staff.

Many of them are mothers, some are single mums - all rely heavily on their card tips to support their children.

“With this change to tip policy I am looking to lose £25-£35 on average a week (and I only do 16 hours). It may seem a small amount to a lot of people but that amount of money pays for my kids ‘school dinners and goes towards my weekly food shop, it’s a pack of nappies and formula for a week.” (TGI Fridays waitress for just under a year.)

“Since we got told at the beginning of January I can't sleep. I argue with my husband about money and I am stressed all the time.” (Facing a loss of £260 a month) (TGI Fridays waitress for 3.5 years)

We are shocked that the company has forced this controversial policy change through without meeting its commitment under the Fair Tips Charter to properly consult and reach agreement with its loyal and hardworking workforce and has refused to hear a collective grievance submitted by workers at over 40 TGI outlets. Waiters in the trial group were given just two days’ notice that their card tips would be cut.

Now that the policy change has been imposed on staff at all 82 TGI Fridays restaurants, we are calling on you to do the right thing by the staff who have worked hard to make the company successful. They do not deserve to be treated in this manner.

As first step, you can start by ensuring that the collective grievance is properly heard and investigated and meet with the workers’ union, Unite.

Robbing minimum-waged waiters of their hard earned tips instead of giving kitchen staff a wage increase is unfair. It’s time to listen to your staff:

“I am angry. I am stressed and emotional but still my guests receive the best service and I give 100 percent every shift. I can’t believe a company that I once believed so strongly in can treat us like this.” (TGI waiter)

Signed...


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