Socialist Worker

Action call in hospitality + Jamie’s pukka payout + New moves on pensions

Issue No. 2714

Demonstrating at the culture ministry for jobs and pay

Demonstrating at the culture ministry for jobs and pay (Pic: Guy Smallman)


Hospitality workers in the Unite union held a socially-distanced “Save our Jobs” protest on Tuesday of this week.

They gathered outside the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport in central London.

Workers’ demands include an extension of the job retention scheme and an increase in the minimum wage to £10 an hour with no age restrictions.

Dave Turnbull, Unite national officer for hospitality, said, “Workers in restaurants, pubs, bars and hotels have faced months of uncertainty because of the pandemic.

“Now if their pay and terms and conditions aren’t being slashed, mass redundancies are threatening to throw tens of thousands of them onto the scrap heap.”


Pukka payout at restaurants

Former workers at celebrity chef Jamie Oliver’s Italian chain of restaurants have secured a payout.

They have been awarded eight weeks of lost wages after an employment tribunal ruled that the company failed to consult over their redundancies.

The restaurant group collapsed last year.

The 70 Unite union members formerly employed in Jamie’s Italian restaurants in Glasgow and Edinburgh will receive an average payout of £2,000 each.

Bryan Simpson, Unite organiser for hospitality, said, “The way staff were treated was despicable. They received a 30-minute call to tell them that they had all lost their jobs.

“Let this judgement act as a warning to all those multinational chains currently pressing ahead with mass redundancies without genuine and meaningful consultation.”


Tories’ unlawful pension move leads to new payouts

The government has been forced to publish new measures to correct its failed changes to public sector pensions.

Attacks on the pensions of millions of workers that were ruled unlawful will cost £17 billion to remedy, ministers said last week.

Changes made in 2015 to retirement benefits for workers, including doctors and teachers, were designed to shift millions of staff into less generous retirement arrangements, including higher pension ages.

But in 2018 the Court of Appeal ruled the reforms were discriminatory on age grounds.

This was because they allowed those within ten years of pension age to remain in the mostly more generous legacy retirement schemes.

Now the government has published its proposals for removing the unlawful discrimination identified by the court, which it estimated would affect about three million people and cost up to £17 billion to fix.

On average those who benefit will gain around £6,000 over time.

The remedy to fix the scheme applies only to those who joined a relevant scheme before April 2012.

And the government is now looking to recoup funds by launching new attacks.

As part of the consultation, the government unveiled plans to transfer a further two million public sector workers’ career-average schemes from April 2022.

For many workers this will mean a worsening compared to the present scheme.

Unions must fight to ensure that nobody’s pension is cut after the rejection of an unlawful assault.


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