Workers at ‘Brexit HQ’ Mayfair club call off strike after securing better sick pay

IWGB Kitchen Porters to Strike At 5 Hertford Street in Mayfair
Mohamed Elmaazi

Workers from a private members club in London called off their planned strikes for 11 and 12 December after a successful round of negotiations with management.

“Brexit HQ”

Pro-Brexit campaigner Andrew Wigmore dubbed the Mayfair club “Brexit HQ” due to the number of pro-Brexit individuals present at the club. These include millionaires such as Richard Tice, Arron Banks, and Robin Birley – who owns 5 Hertford Street. Birley has donated over £250,000 to UKIP and £20,000 to Boris Johnson, according to the Times.

Negotiations

According to the Independent Workers Union of Great Britain (IWGB), which was backing the strike, the kitchen porters at the elite Mayfair club secured concessions from management which means they will have five days paid sick leave. Until now, management offered only statutory sick pay.

When the union announced the strike action, it said that the lack of “proper” sick pay meant “many of them are forced to work while they are ill, just to be able to pay their rent and keep the lights on”.

The club has also agreed to start paying workers the London Living Wage of £10.55 per hour by January 2020, following negotiations. Until June 2019, the workers were only paid £8.65 per hour, according to the IWGB.

Negotiations will continue

Other demands of the workers which have yet to be met include recognition of their union.

The IWGB said it “welcomes” the improved terms agreed to, although “the offer still falls short of a decent contractual sick pay package and a proper collective bargaining agreement”. The union says that workers will, therefore, be seeking union recognition via arbitration.

In a prior statement to The Canary, on 6 December, 5 Hertford Street said:

Only 10 of our 250 members of staff are members of the IWGB, so it would be inappropriate for the club formally to recognise the union but as demonstrated during our recent discussions we are quite prepared to have a constructive relationship.

Featured image via IWGB

We need your help ...

The coronavirus pandemic is changing our world, fast. And we will do all we can to keep bringing you news and analysis throughout. But we are worried about maintaining enough income to pay our staff and minimal overheads.

Now, more than ever, we need a vibrant, independent media that holds the government to account and calls it out when it puts vested economic interests above human lives. We need a media that shows solidarity with the people most affected by the crisis – and one that can help to build a world based on collaboration and compassion.

We have been fighting against an establishment that is trying to shut us down. And like most independent media, we don’t have the deep pockets of investors to call on to bail us out.

Can you help by chipping in a few pounds each month?

The Canary Support us