With over 80,000 signatures on the petition, the pressure is mounting on restaurant chain Las Iguanas to change its tipping policy. A few weeks ago The Observer revealed that staff at the profitable chain were - quite rightly - fed up of having to hand over 3% of their "sales" at the end of every shift, irrespective if they had made that amount in tips or not. One waiter reported handing back on average £25-£30 each shift, and over five days that adds up to a lot of lost income. It also adds up to a lot of extra profit for Las Iguanas - they took back £34,000 across all their restaurants in ONE WEEK through this scheme.
Thanks to the campaigns organised by Unite the Union and outrage from customers, Pizza Express and Giraffe restaurant chains bowed to pressure and changed their tipping policy last week, giving 100% of all tips to staff. Of course, they state they changed their policy due to a new automated system which conveniently came into effect at the same time as the protests! Funny that eh? But the important thing here is that this is yet another example of how organising and fighting back against exploitative employers can change things for the better.
It is not acceptable that Las Iguanas justify their tip policy by saying they use the money for training and incentives - developing and motivating staff is the responsibility of the employer, not the customer! For too long we have accepted excuses like this. For too long we have accepted that profit comes before everything else, including the well-being and dignity of workers. And for too long we have allowed greedy bosses to squeeze every last spare penny out of workers in order to please their billionaire financial backers.
If Pizza Express and Giraffe can change their tipping policy, so can Las Iguanas. We might just need to give them a wee push in the right direction! If you want to get involved then please get in touch with us.
You can view and sign the petition here: https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/stop-las-iguanas-forcing-their-staff-to-pay-to-work