Socialist Worker

Sacked head chef cooks up protest for four star hotel

by Sian Ruddick
Issue No. 2114

Virgilio Teixira

Virgilio Teixira

Protesters called for the immediate reinstatement of Virgilio Teixira, a member of the GMB union, at Heathrow Arora Hotel on Friday of last week.

Virgilio was sacked from his £20,000 a year job as head chef at the four star hotel on 31 July after a colleague failed to arrive for the following shift.

Virgilio had to leave at the end of his shift to care for his three young children as his wife had to go to work.

Compass catering, which has the contract for the hotel, have alleged “serious breach of trust and progressive breach of conduct” as reasons for the sacking.

This is despite Virgilio offering to return to work after he had secured his children’s care.

Virgilio is appealing against his sacking and is currently waiting for a hearing date to be set.

He told Socialist Worker, “This has been a shock for people I work with. None of the kitchen workers were in the union.

“Now they’re asking me how they can join. Colleagues have offered to write references to help to get my job back.”

The GMB organised the protest outside the hotel to raise awareness with others working at the hotel and to put pressure on the management.

Perry Phillips, GMB branch secretary, said “This is unfair dismissal. Virgilio was trying to strike a work/life balance.

“Compass have ignored ‘family friendly’ guidelines and treated our member with complete disrespect. That Virgilio’s efforts were not good enough shows what the super-rich expect from workers.”

Email message of support for Virgillio to [email protected]

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Article information

Tue 12 Aug 2008, 19:15 BST
Issue No. 2114
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