Harrods restaurants accused of keeping waiters’ tips

BRISTOL, UNITED KINGDOM - NOVEMBER 27:  In this photo illustration pound coins are stacked in front of a twenty pound note on November 27 2008 in Bristol, England. Many UK consumers are feeling the pinch as the financial crisis and economic downturn makes borrowing harder and more expensive and the recession starts to bite.  (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

Harrods’ on-site restaurants and cafes have been accused by a union representing catering staff for keeping the majority of waiters’ tips.

The United Voices of the World union claimed that it had seen data showing that Harrods’ foodservice outlets were depriving its 483 catering staff of up to £5,000 a year.

Harrods recently circulated a letter around its staff stating that it was looking to improve the current system, following a threat of unofficial industrial action by UVW members .

The London retail giant revealed record profits for the seventh successive year in 2016, increasing from £141.5 million to £168 million.

According to the Independent, the department store declined to disclose how much of the service charge is retained by management.

Petros Elias, general secretary of the UVW union, was quoted by the Independent as saying: “The lack of transparency in the system gives Harrods huge power over its staff. Catering wages are barely enough to survive on in London, and waiters in particular depend heavily on tips just to get by.”

The union is waiting for a response from Harrods and will reportedly vote on industrial action and strikes if demands are not met.

A spokesperson for Harrods told FEJ that it operates a Tronc system, which manages the distribution of the service charge only. Contrary to earlier reports, employees are not required to accept any deduction in their salary in order to participate in the Tronc system.

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