Hungarian workers at a pizza franchise in Derby, who took home virtually no pay for months because of wage deductions, have been sacked and now face eviction from their homes.
According to the Unite union, one Domino’s delivery driver was paid just £5 – half the price of a large pepperoni pizza – after four months’ work.
This was because accommodation and insurance costs had been deducted from his pay.
The union alleges it has found at least half a dozen similar cases.
Domino’s UK Ltd said its own inquiry backed the franchise owner who said he had evidence to disprove the union’s claim.
The eight Hungarians were fired in a letter from Global Pizza Ltd – which runs three franchised Domino’s Pizza outlets – for not proving their right to work in Britain.
The workers, who say that they were given just a week to move out of houses leased to them as part of their employment, claim they have done nothing wrong.
They say that they filled out the necessary registration forms, and insist that they passed them to their employer to send to the home office.
Union representative Simon Wallace said, “We are looking to defend the workers and take this through the tribunal procedure on the grounds of unfair dismissal and race discrimination.
“These workers have had such large deductions from their wages that they were forced to live off next to nothing.”
Pali Zsolt, who came to this country to make money to pay for an operation for his seriously ill sister, said, “I thought I could earn good money that I could send home.
“In Hungary, there are too many people and not enough jobs, so I took a loan out to come here because I want to help make a better life for my family back home.
“I am worried about being left without a home and I have no money to buy food, or to live anywhere else. I have nothing.”
After four months of working at outlets in Allestree, Alvaston and Littleover, the workers say they were handed their dismissal letters when they turned up for their shifts on Tuesday of last week.
They had recently complained to the union about what they say were varying and often large deductions in their pay.
The workers say that, on top of tax and national insurance contributions, differing amounts were taken out of their wages for rent and the use of cars given to them to do the job.
In some cases, the workers claim they received no cash in their wage packet at all.
Instead they found themselves owing money to their employers.
Zsolt has wage slips that show that on two occasions he owed £191 and £137 because earnings did not outweigh deductions.
On other fortnights he was paid £105 and £91.
The workers, most of whom do not speak English, said they were not sure about the hourly rates they were being paid.
Zsolt said, “Sometimes my employer gave me money to buy food on those occasions when the deductions were bigger than my wages, but that wasn’t enough to live on.
“I don’t think that I was being treated fairly.
“I pay £200 a month in rent but I don’t know how much is taken from my pay for the car and insurance.
“I had no choice in the car that I had to use to deliver the pizzas, and I don’t know how much was paid for it.
“The money was just taken from my wages.”