Workers at The Bright Helm and The Post & Telegraph Wetherspoon’s pubs in Brighton are being balloted for strikes for union recognition and a £10 an hour wage by the Bakers, Food and Allied Workers′ Union (BFAWU).
On Monday 17 September, shortly after the ballot was announced, Wetherspoon’s announced it would be bringing forward an annual pay rise due in April next year to this November. The pay rise will see wages for under 18s increase by 50p to £5.95, the a lower rate of pay for 18-20 year olds will be abolished — raising the starting rate to £8:25 an hour, and Wetherspoon’s has agreed to pay a night shift premium of £1/hr. Workers at The Bright Helm had previously won the suspension of over-night shifts.
Chris Heppell, 29, Kitchen Team Leader, at the Post & Telegraph, said: ″If this is how they respond to two pubs just threatening to take action, imagine what we can achieve when we all come together in a union across the country.″
Strike ballots will continue however. Jesse Enfield, 28, kitchen manager, at the Post & Telegraph said:
“It’s going to make too little difference to workers in their day-to day-lives. It’s still different pay for different ages. That’s unfair. Young workers are doing the same work and yet getting paid far less for it.
″We’re determined to continue until we get £10 an hour, ‘all ages — same wages’ and a union”
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