Harrods faces strikes and protests over 'unfair' tips policy

"Workers at the high-end department store's restaurants are involved in a dispute with bosses over the amount the company deducts from the service charge"
"Workers at the high-end department store's restaurants are involved in a dispute with bosses over the amount the company deducts from the service charge"
Natalie Bloomer By

Harrods is facing demonstrations and possible strike action by staff over its tips policy, Politics.co.uk can reveal.

Workers at the high-end department store's restaurants are involved in a dispute with bosses over the amount the company deducts from the service charge.

The United Voices of the World Union (UVW), which represents a number of the workers, says that Harrods takes an unspecified percentage of the tips left for waiters and staff by customers.

Staff say they have been left in the dark over the amount being deducted from the service charge because they do not receive a full breakdown of what they receive. They have complained to management over Harrods’ refusal to confirm in writing the percentage they take.


Politics.co.uk understands that relations between staff and management deteriorated so severely this week that workers are considering going out on strike on Boxing Day.

UVW is calling for the staff to receive the entirety of the service charge and for union recognition by the company.

The union has organised a number of protests to be held over the store's sale period, which starts on Boxing Day and continues until the middle of January.

The first Harrods knew about the planned protests was when Politics.co.uk contacted them for a comment yesterday. Shortly afterwards, staff received a letter saying that the company would be looking to improve the tips system.

The general secretary of UVW, Petros Elias, said that while this development is a good start it did not go far enough and vowed to continue the campaign.

"We hope this can be resolved through dialogue but we will resort to protests and will consider calling staff out on strike if it's not," he said.

A spokesperson for Harrods said:

"We can confirm that,  like many business in hospitality sector, Harrods operates a Tronc system on behalf of its employees."

"Harrods is looking to improve the current system through which it distributes its service charge, to ensure it best serves our employees, and is completing a detailed review into the existing scheme. Therefore, we cannot provide any further information at this point. In addition, we can confirm that we are not aware of any industrial action by any employees on Boxing Day."

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