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Big Brands Protest in Birmingham

Friday, November 6, 2015

GMB NINE LIVING WAGE PROTESTS ON TUESDAY 10TH NOVEMBER TO SUPPORT NEW YORK CITY FAST FOOD WORKERS STRIKE AND SWINDON M&S DEPOT WORKERS 

Big brands like M&S, Starbucks, Burger King, Caffè Ritazza, Upper Crust, Whistlestop, Millie’s Cookies should pay £10 per hour living wage, end zero hours contracts and confront bullying managers to bring security to the mainly young workers says GMB

GMB members will hold 9 protest demonstrations outside fast food outlets and M&S on Tuesday 10th November  across England in solidarity with members of the SEIU working in fast food in New York City who that day are taking strike action in their campaign is for $15 per hour - a real living wage. GMB is calling for living wage of £10 now.

Some of the protests are outside M&S Simply Food stores which are franchised out to Select Service Partner UK Ltd (SSP) which run fast food outlets.

The protests outside M&S are also to protest at two tier workforce and work practices at the M&S depot in Swindon. These are part of a series of protest outside M&S stores across the country in support of the M&S Swindon depot workers. See notes to editors for copy of previous GMB release on M&S Swindon protests.

The details of these GMB protests are as follows:

·    McDonalds 518/522 Brixton Road, Brixton SW9 8EN  1pm

·    Simply M+S, Burger King and Starbucks Piccadilly Gardens Manchester  time xxxx

·    Burger King Bolton Time xxxx

·    Simply M+S White Rose Shopping Centre Leeds from9am 

·    Simply M+S Fargate Shopping Centre Sheffield from 1pm

·    Millies Cookies, Burger King Westfield Shopping Centre White City London from 11:30am

·    All fast food outlets New Street Station Birmingham from 8am

Kamaljeet Jandu, GMB National Officer , said  “ GMB is calling on big brand owners like M&S, Starbucks, Burger King, Caffè Ritazza, Upper Crust, Whistlestop, Millie’s Cookies and other big brands to pay a living wage of £10 per hour, end zero hours contracts and confront bullying managers to bring security to the mainly young workers at outlets in the UK’s railway stations, airports and large shopping centres.
We are also supporting our colleagues in the fast food industry taking action on Tuesday 10th November for a $15 minimum wage across New York City.

The shadowy franchise companies such as Select Service Partners and Kout Food Group (KFG Quickserve) who often run their outlets at airports, railway stations and retail parks has to be exposed.  M&S are one of the big brands who pay SSP to operate their outlets in their names in the hope of avoiding the public outrage of the low pay and poor employment terms and conditions.

The big brands pay Select Service Partner UK Ltd (SSP) to operate the outlets in their names in the hope of avoiding the public outrage of the low pay and poor employment terms and conditions SSP provide for the 9,300 staff in the 2,000 fast food outlets.

SSP staff are paid close to the National Minimum Wage, are mostly on zero hours contracts and can be moved to work in any of the franchises on a day to day basis. GMB has received complaints of insecure work, bullying, low pay and pressure to grovel to supervisors in order to get enough hours of work to make ends meet. Many keep their heads above water through in work tax credit and other benefits while SSP makes a profit of £17 million after tax.

Fast food workers are among the most severely exploited of the UK workforce. They belong to the 2.6 million workers the Resolution Foundation estimates are stuck on wages just above the minimum - who are so valued by their employers they are paid as little as they can get away with. On average they are paid no more than £7.20 an hour on zero hours or tiny hours contracts. They have a working life constantly grovelling for another shift and constantly worrying about the tax credits they need to make ends meet. They are the strivers fearful to see how much their in work benefits will be cut next year. Fast food workers want their jobs to pay their bills. They know they cannot live on any of the "living wages" they hear politicians talk about without claiming benefits.

GMB consider that it is time for fast food employers to make work pay.  A survey of GMB members carried out in 2015 found that they needed a minimum wage of £10 an hour with a full working week to live free of benefits. They know that fast food employers have used tax credits to keep their wages low for years taking millions of pounds in wage subsidies from taxpayers that they should now pay back to staff.
GMB members in the fast food industry want £10 per hour, contracts of employment with the hours of work people want and need, the right to seek help and support from trade unions and protection from bullying and abuse by managers and customers alike.

GMB is also pressing M&S to investigate the working practices at the Swindon site. At Swindon mothers on the bus on their way into work having left their children with child-minders get text messages saying they are not needed that day.”

End

Contact Kamaljeet Jandi 07956 237 178 or Michelle Gordon 0208 397 8881for Brixton or  Rachel Harrison  0345 337 7777 for Yorkshire xxxx for North West and dyyyy for Birmingham

For information on M&S Swindon contact GMB Wiltshire branch secretary, Andy Newman on 0754 0859 227, or GMB Regional Organiser, Carole Vallelly on 07912 181476 or Kevin Brandstatter 07813 207374 or Chris Watts on 01793 818 005 or 07776 238 327 GMB Press Office 07921 289 880


Notes to editors

GMB PROTEST ON MON 2ND NOVEMBER  AT M&S LONDON FLAGSHIP  STORE  OVER PRACTICES AT M&S SWINDON DEPOT WITH AGENCY STAFF ON £2 PER HOUR BELOW DIRECT STAFF

At M&S Swindon there are mothers on the bus on their way into work having left their children with child-minders who get text messages saying they are not needed that day, says GMB
GMB, the union for Marks and Spencer (M&S) distribution workers in Swindon, is to hold a protest demonstration on Monday 2nd November  outside the Marble Arch  flagship store of Marks and Spencer in London  to protest at two tier workforce and work practices at the Swindon depot. This is the fourth  in a series of protest outside M&S locations across the country in support of the M&S Swindon workers. It will take place before the lobby of Parliament on the Trades Union Bill taking place later on the same day.

The details of the protest are as follows:
At 10.30am  Monday 2nd November 
Outside M&S Marble Arch store, 
458 Oxford Street,
London WC1 1AP 

Members going onto the Lobby of Parliament will be there with flags and banners.

Earlier this year GMB commenced legal proceedings on behalf of members employed at the Marks and Spencer Distribution Centre in South Marston, Swindon.

Marks and Spencer own this Distribution Centre. They contract the running of the site to logistics company, DHL. They in turn recruit several hundred workers through the recruitment agency, 24-7 Recruitment Services. These workers have an employment contract through yet another company, Tempay Ltd.

DHL took over the contract to run the site in January 2015, which was previously run by another logistics company, Wincanton.

Workers employed by Tempay Ltd are employed on the minimum wage of £6.70 per hour. Directly employed DHL workers doing exactly the same work, are paid up to £2 per hour higher than Tempay staff. Many of the Tempay staff have worked on the site for several years. Tempay staff are guaranteed only 7 hours per week.

The legal claims brought by GMB, on behalf its members, are against all four companies: DHL, Wincanton, 24-7 Recruitment Services, and Tempay Ltd.

The claims relate to the Agency Worker Regulations, which came into effect in 2011, and which guarantee equal pay for agency workers after a qualifying period of 12 weeks. A loophole in the law, known as the Swedish Derogation, allows employers to evade these provisions for equal pay, by guaranteeing a few hours of work each week.

Carole Vallelly, GMB Regional Organiser, said "This further GMB protest is against M&S getting round the law relating to equal pay for agency staff by the use of the Swedish Derogation. GMB consider that this is unethical and unlawful.

The South Marston site is operated wholly for the benefit of Marks and Spencer. It is clear that the treatment of these workers is in breach of both M&S' Code of Ethics and Behaviour and also in breach of M&S' Global Sourcing Principles. The Global Sourcing Principles require each of M&S' suppliers, whether of goods or services, to comply with all relevant laws and regulations relating to terms of employment. 
GMB is pressing M&S to investigate the working practices at the South Marsden site. At Swindon mothers on the bus on their way into work having left their children with child-minders get text messages saying they are not needed that day.

As a matter of principle GMB believes that all staff at South Marston site who are doing the same work should receive equal pay whoever they work for. We want an end to the two tier workforce."

End

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