IWW members from across the South West gathered in Plymouth to support a fellow worker in getting hundreds of pounds of unpaid wages. The action was taken after the boss had failed to respond to a grievance letter from the union.
About a dozen wobblies from Plymouth, Bristol, North Devon and Cornwall picketed outside the KickinCaribou restaurant to demand the bosses pay what was owed. From behind a wall of flags we chanted “Caribou, shame on you! Pay your workers what they’re due!”
“The IWW did an incredible show outside of the restaurant, lots of awesome chanting and we defo gathered a lot of attention from people on the street and cars and such.” One participant said.
The worker and a union rep spoke to the manager inside while the protest went on for about an hour, getting lots of attention from locals and punters.
“At first the managers weren’t even there but when they found out what was happening we called them to come and meet with us, we would wait. By turning up outside the restauaunt we showed that we were serious and that we wouldn’t leave with our member empty handed. We would walk the manager to a nearby cashpoint if needed.” Said Sab, the union rep from the IWW.
The owner claimed that he had not yet paid the worker was because he wanted to deduct from the wages owed due to the worker quitting mid-shift. While we were there a member of staff also told us he and many others are not being paid either.
“My union rep spoke with the owner on my behalf and we were able to settle on a pretty good agreement.” Said the worker.
“We settled on splitting the deductions in half so rather than the £414 owed it would be £370! Hopefully it showed the other staff that if you come together you can overcome!
“I’m so grateful for today, felt very empowering and it was an incredible show of solidarity!”
Max, Bristol IWW secretary said: “It felt really great to come out to support our fellow worker in their dispute and to share a sense of togetherness with the other wobblies. So many hospitality employers think they can take the piss with their employees, but today really showed that solidarity is strength and that we can fight back.”
Never tolerate wage theft in any form, no matter where you work. Solidarity gets the goods!