Socialist Worker

Protests after pizza firm takes away pay

by Michael Holland
Issue No. 2702

Campaigning in Lewsiham last Saturday

Campaigning in Lewisham last Saturday (Pic: Guy Smallman)


Pizza Hut workers, ­supported by Croydon Solidarity Network, ­organised a picket line and protest outside Pizza Hut in Penge, south London, last week.

About 25 people—made up of the workers and their supporters—chanted, “Pay up Pizza Hut”.

Protests also took place in Lewisham Way and Wandsworth on Saturday.

The south London ATEAM franchise has left nearly 40 workers across six outlets without pay for five weeks and not placed them on furlough.

The workers have been demanding answers from franchise owner Simon Byrne for some time.

But it is only within the last few days that some workers have been paid some of their owed wages by the parent company.

Workers claim Byrne has offered to pay employees in olives and napkins instead of cash as he has a “large stockpile”.

Straits

Workers, who sometimes do 12-hour shifts and are not paid after 1am even if they continue working, have been left in dire financial straits.

Some are unable to pay rent and bills and have mounting debts.

The protest was loud, angry and visible and was supported by local NEU union members, BFAWU union members and local residents.

The protest observed social distancing practices. But a van full of police still turned up to insist the picket moved away from the front of the outlet.

Once this had been acted upon, the police got back into their van and drove off, sitting next to each other. Pizza Hut’s main Twitter site has said that “We’ve been informed that head office is resolving this immediately”.

But workers continue to protest until they win all their demands.

Please express your support by tweeting at @pizzahutuk and @pizzahutdeliver using the hashtag #PizzaHutPayUP

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