On Friday 3 March, workers from the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) trade union delivered a grievance letter to Power Plant Vegan Cafe in Plymouth.
Claims of harassment and wrongful dismissal
The dismissed cafe worker – who joined the IWW in delivering the grievance – read out a statement saying that they were misgendered and deadnamed while working at the cafe. They also said that they had received targeted comments about their appearance.
They spoke about the effect that their treatment at work had on their mental health:
The dismissed worker went on to add that they had asked for the problems to be addressed. However, they were “
They explained that they wanted to take the grievance in the:
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The IWW and the dismissed employee expressed disappointment with Power Plant, as the cafe had been a meeting place for Plymouth’s queer community in the past, and has hosted local queer events.
IWW stressed the seriousness of the grievances:
However, Power Plant has refused to accept responsibility. Instead, they have blamed the dismissed worker, and said that they had been “hostile”. A statement from the cafe said:
The former employee who has recently raised a grievance about their dismissal was given their notice due to repeated inappropriate & hostile behaviour towards one of their employers as well as multiple complaints we received from other members of staff for bullying and causing mental stress by creating a hostile work environment. We absolutely reject their claims of unfair dismissal and harassment.
Their response does not acknowledge the harm done to their former employee, or begin to try to address it. The cafe’s owners did confirm – however – that they will meet with the union.
An injury to one is an injury to all
The IWW’s solidarity for their member in Plymouth shows, once again, that workplace organising is the answer to not getting pushed around by bosses. IWW is a radical grassroots trade union that represents all types of workers across all workplaces. You can find out more about IWW here.
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