Éirígí activists joined over fifty people at a Communities Against Low Pay (CALP) protest outside The Ivy restaurant on Dawson Street, Dublin last night (March 14th). The protest was called in response to numerous anti-worker actions by management at the exclusive eatery.
Tips that are left by customers for the staff are being stolen by management, only to be returned as part of their core wages . Management have also suspended two members of staff who dared to join a trade union, a blatant attempt to intimidate others from attempting to organise within their workplace.
Last night’s protest is the culmination of a long-running dispute between management and workers about the theft of tips, low wages and oppressive working conditions. Last November the management accused waiting staff of “deplorable greed” because they claimed they were asking customers to leave tips in cash rather than on a card. In an internal notice sent to all staff they stated, “from Monday NO WAITERS will ever be allowed to take any payments from guests, there will be a password on the credit card machine and the managers will take all payments, without exception.”
Speaking at the protest, Éirígí South-West Inner-City local election candidate Damien Farrell said,
“The theft of tips and the suspension of unionised workers on spurious charges, as well as other anti-worker actions, by the management should be condemned by all. The workers in this restaurant have had to put up with an unacceptable onslaught from management since it opened. Tonight we have shown the workers that they are not alone, they don’t have to fight this on their own.”
Also in attendance was the Éirígí local election candidate for Artane-Whitehall area, Ciarán Heaphey who said,
“Tonight’s protest was organised by Communities Against Low Pay. CALP is made up of workers, members of political parties and non-aligned activists. I would encourage people who find themselves in the same situation as The Ivy workers to get involved and help us expose the rotten practices that have been normalised in the service industry.
Together we can make a difference. Tonight we saw customers walk out in reaction to the protest, they were disgusted by the fact that the tips they give to their servers are stolen by the management. We need to combat poverty wages, protesting and boycotting establishments like this are just some of the many ways we can show solidarity with exploited workers in the service industry.”