Socialist Worker

The restaurants where the wine is worth more than the workers

Issue No. 2117

A table at The Ivy restaurant in Covent Garden is, according to restaurant critic AA Gill, “one of the most sought-after pieces of furniture in London”.

But court evidence has now revealed how Caprice Holdings, whose restaurants include The Ivy, paid migrant workers just half the minimum wage.

The company had 25 people working up to nine hours a day, six days a week. The workers took home just £300 a fortnight, which works out at just £2.78 an hour. A bottle of 1986 Château La Mission Haut-Brion Pessac‑Léognan costs a £330 at the restaurant.

This pay scandal came to light not because the employer had been prosecuted, but because two of the workers, Papies Camara and Sellou Bah, were jailed for nine months on Thursday of last week for identity fraud.

The workers were arrested in June. Camara and Bah admitted having a false passport. Another man is awaiting sentencing.

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