London Saturday 04 February 2012 – Over twenty London Wobblies and sympathisers braved the cold today at a very successful picket targeting one of Pizza Hut’s larger London restaurants at the Strand.
The picket was organised by the London IWW General Membership Branch in solidarity with the Sheffield IWW Pizza Hut Union call out for a national day of action against the Pizza chain. The London picket was one of a string of solidarity actions held worldwide in addition to the main Sheffield Pizza Hut picket. Solidarity demonstrations took place in Birmingham, Liverpool, Glasgow, Calais, Portland, Vancouver, and Berlin.
Keeping up a vibrant and spirited atmosphere despite the frosty temperatures, the picketers distributed hundreds of flyers over the course of the afternoon to customers, staff and passers-by.
Wobblies from the London IWW GMB branch were joined by a significant number of sympathisers, including members of the North and South London Solidarity Federation locals and the London Anarchist Federation. London IWW would like to formally extend its thanks to all of those who joined, with particular thanks to the sympathetic organisations who made the effort to mobilise their members in this great show of solidarity.
Meanwhile, at the main protest in Sheffield, twenty Pizza Hut workers braved the billowing snow in protest against what they say are “insulting” conditions and pay.
The Sheffield Pizza Hut Workers, who’ve proudly organised an Industrial Union Branch under the banner of the Industrial Workers of the World, have had enough of Pizza Hut management’s dogged refusal to give them their fair dues, and we, their fellow workers at the London IWW GMB stand 100% behind them in solidarity.
This call for a nationwide protest comes at the tail end of a year-long dispute with management over bank holiday pay, delivery drivers’ commissions, and poor working conditions.
Contrary to standard practice in the UK, Pizza Hut staff do not receive the usual time-and-a-half pay rate for working Bank Holidays, and are instead paid standard wage. The IWW demands that Pizza Hut pay all workers time and a half for working Bank Hollidays.
The pay rate for delivery staff, who use their own cars, has remained frozen for several years, despite the increase of delivery radius and the rising price of petrol. This amounts to dismal pay for delivery staff.
Other concerns include delivery staff safety gear, a decreasing pay packet that falls behind inflation and a demand for a real living wage for all Pizza Hut workers.