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Young workers take action for equal pay

Young people working at J D Wetherspoon are taking action in their fight for fair pay on Thursday 4th October.

The nationwide campaigners have questioned why younger workers are paid less for doing the same job as other staff, when paying rent, electricity or even buying a loaf of bread costs the same.

In Brighton, Wetherspoon’s workers have been sharing stories of poverty pay and won support from local politicians, including their Green MP Caroline Lucas.

Chris Heppell, 29, Kitchen Team Leader, at the Post & Telegraph pub, said:

When you’re struggling to get by every penny counts.

Following  a ballot for strike action (#spoonstrike) to secure £10 per hour and union recognition, Wetherspoon’s has brought forward a pay rise to November 2018.  They have increased the rate they pay to under 18’s by 50p to £5.95, abolished a lower rate of pay for 18-20 year olds raising the starting rate to £8:25 an hour and agreed to pay a night shift premium of £1 per hour.

Jesse Enfield, 28, kitchen manager at the Post & Telegraph in Brighton said:

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 union recognition.

Katie Southworth, 22, Team Leader at the Bright Helm in Brighton said:

By announcing our ballot for strike action calling for £10 an hour and union recognition we’ve made the company look at its poverty wages and the unfairness of age related pay bands.

Wetherspoons has now finally acknowledged that its current wages needed to rise.

Their increase is small and been presented as simple generosity. We know this is not the case.

By bringing the pay award forward to November Wetherspoons has highlighted the power that we have when we working together in a union. By unionising and threatening to strike we are already making small positive steps towards a better future for all workers.

We will continue until we win £10 an hour and a union for all Wetherspoons workers

Ronnie Draper, General Secretary, BFAWU, said:

The Bakers Union is proud to support these workers as they take a stand against poverty pay. By coming together in a union they are showing the way to tackle low pay and lack of respect across the whole hospitality sector.

Wetherspoons workers joined the BFAWU after being inspired by the McStrike where McDonald’s workers won the largest pay rise for a decade in January 2018 after taking strike action for the first time in September 2017.

Workers from McDonald’s and TGI Fridays will strike on the same day on Thursday 4 October before coming together for a rally in Leicester Square in Central London.

#spoonstrike is part of the Fast Food Rights campaign and you can find out more here:

Photo by War on Want