Tipping the Bosses!

Diarmuid Breatnach

Supporters of staff at a prominent Dublin eatery protested yesterday over the management’s appropriation of some of the tips left by customers for the staff. They are able to do this quite easily when the customer pays the tip by credit card but when staff asked customers to leave their tips in cash, management accused them of “deplorable greed”. They have also dismissed two staff who are currently taking a case for unfair dismissal, accusing the management of sacking them for their unionisation of the staff.

View of some early protesters outside the Ivy Dawson Street restaurant (Photo: D.Breatnach)

          The photographs taken here show a smallish group, including Independents for Change TD Joan Collins but more were coming later from the Mayday march on the north side of the river. A supporter claimed that the management offers an hourly rate above the minimum wage but then makes that difference up with tips.

Catering work in general is notoriously low-paid and with transitory staff, making it difficult for trade unions to organise them and relatively easy for management to hire and fire.

View of some early protesters outside the Ivy Dawson Street restaurant (Photo: D.Breatnach)

There have been a number of protests about the tips issue at Ivy, including one on which the Irish Times reported in March.

The report stated that a number of protestors who had booked tables in the restaurant began the protest and were then joined outside the restaurant by a group of 30 people led by Independent TD Joan Collins who held up placards stating “Stop tip theft”.

View of some early protesters outside the Ivy Dawson Street restaurant (Photo: D.Breatnach)

Ms Collins was reported as saying that she was aware of other Dublin restaurants who have are engaging in similar practices when it comes to tips and was quoted as saying that: “The Ivy are abusing the good nature of diners who are tipping staff well because and they are not aware that management are taking some of their tips”.

“Workers are hugely concerned as they are not earning a high hourly wage and they work hard for their tips only for a portion of it to go to the company,” she said.


Link to Irish Times article (and photo): https://www.irishtimes.com/life-and-style/food-and-drink/protest-held-outside-ivy-restaurant-in-dublin-over-waiters-tips-1.3827055

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