WORKERS AT a Chinese restaurant in the Chinatown area of Soho, central London, are fighting back. Four Chinese waiters at the New Diamond restaurant on Lisle Street were sacked when it closed for refurbishment.
"We talked to the boss about payment while we had no work because the restaurant was closed. The boss didn't want to pay us a single penny. The staff were very angry," says one of the sacked workers.
The next thing the four workers knew, they were picked off and made redundant! When the restaurant reopened two weeks ago the workers picketed the restaurant over the weekend, calling for a boycott of the New Diamond while they are in dispute. They are supported by the TGWU union.
The picket shocked the boss who quickly agreed to talks and made a deal with workers, only to back out of it almost immediately. Workers called off last weekend's picket while further talks took place between the union's and the restaurant's solicitors.
A sacked worker says, "This dispute is significant for the future. We think this is the first time a trade union has supported Chinese workers in Chinatown. "We want to change the balance between the employers and the employees."