Tips and service charges that are pooled and paid out to staff under the Tronc schemes in operation have been excluded from the furlough wages of 80% paid by government to workers on furlough. Arguments and petitions have raged against this unfair decision to exclude Tronc from furlough but the government have not budged on the issue.
GMB London, the union for workers in the hospitality industry has recently surveyed its members to see how bad the government’s position has impacted on hospitality workers who rely upon Tronc in their wages.
Traditionally hospitality workers used tips to subsidises their wages, the Tronc pay is a big incentive to many workers to stay in the industry and build a career, by differentiating Tronc in time of need the government may put people of coming into the industry when the economy picks up.
Michael Dooley, GMB London Region Organiser, who covers the hotel and catering industry said:
"Since the furlough scheme was introduced in March 2020, unions and other organisations have strongly argued that staff who are paid Tronc should have this money taken into account and included within the 80% wages paid by the government. Our recent survey has shown that 70% of our members in hotel and catering are paid Tronc, the amounts of Tronc paid ranged from 20% to 50%, almost all of those surveyed considered Tronc to be part of their wages. When workers are taking 20% cut in wages whilst furloughed there is a double whammy for workers in the hospitality industry, sometimes as evidence suggests a triple whammy. Employers voices are also calling for Tronc to be included and the GMB say it should be, Tronc is included in statutory holiday pay which clearly shows that Tronc is part of the normal wages, so should be included in the furlough scheme.”
GMB have allowed the government enough time to do the right thing, but we have not seen any change in their attitude to the hospitality industry workers who rely on Tronc to pay their bills. Many of those workers dependent on Tronc are BAME, this group is disproportionally affected, GMB London Region is not going to sit back and accept this kind of injustice. We intend to take this further by lobbying MPs and will also consider taking advice on a Judicial Review of the government’s unreasonable and unfair omission to pay all workers fairly.”
One GMB London member who is a central London hotel waiter wishes to remain anonymous said:
"I rely upon Tronc to pay my bills, I cannot survive on minimum wages pay, my savings are almost gone and I will need to borrow from my family, I am ashamed to do this but the 80% furlough wages does not include my 30% Tronc pay, so I am almost out of options and feel this is really unfair and unjust”
GMB London Region is calling on the government to do the right thing and move to ensure that workers in the hospitality industry have Tronc pay included in their furlough pay.