Burger group Byron was forced to close its Holborn site after protestors descended on the branch to protest against its cooperation with the immigration Department, resulting in its workers being detained and facing deportation.
The Home Office arrested 35 Byron workers across 15 of its restaurants and has since deported 25, Byron cooperated with the immigration Department by hosting what they informed staff was a training day only to arrive and find immigration officials waiting to detain them. Firms which employ illegal workers face a fine of £20,000 for each employee, so Byron may possibly have avoided a £700,000 fine by cooperating with the Home Office.
During yesterday’s protests, a statement was read out from a Byron chef who was arrested as part of the sting.
The statement read: “It made me feel like I never had before. My heart was completely broken about everything. They destroyed my family. We were a family but they took some piece of me.”
Earlier this week, two branches reportedly had to close when protesters released thousands of insects including cockroaches and locusts into the burger chain’s Central St Giles and Holborn branches.