“Support Jean Philippe to get the wages he’s owed. Come along to the Employment Tribunal to show Tradebase they can’t get away with treating their workers like dirt.” Edinburgh Coalition Against Poverty are organising a protest at Edinburgh’s Employment Tribunal on Thursday 3rd September.
The protest is from 1pm till 2pm on Thursday 3rd September, outside the Employment Tribunal , 54 – 56 Melville Street, Edinburgh EH3 7HF (near Shandwick Place, just after the West End of Princes Street).
The Tribunal hearing starts at 2pm approximately, and is open to the public.
Jean Philippe was employed by construction industry agency Tradebase to work at the Rutland Hotel in Edinburgh. He worked for 37 hours from 2nd – 5th July last year for the Sheffield firm SW Interiors, which should have earned him £468.
Ever since then, Leeds-based Tradebase have been seeking to avoid paying these wages due. The Employment Tribunal found in favour of Jean Philippe, after Tradebase failed to turn up at the hearing. But then Tradebase asked for a review, claiming all the correspondence about the case had gone astray.
At the latest hearing on 7 July this year, Mrs Graham, who along with Mr Graham is the owner of Tradebase, agreed that Jean Philippe had carried out the work and was due wages, and agreed to contact SW Interiors to confirm the number of hours Jean Philippe had worked. She agreed that she would then pay wages for the number of hours verified by SW Interiors.
THE BOSS LIES
But Tradebase and Mrs Graham have gone back on their word. They have now employed a firm called Milton and Co, Accounting and Legal Services, to try and avoid payment on a legal technicality. They are claiming that the Employment Tribunal has no power to rule on the case, alleging that Jean Philippe was not employed by Tradebase but was a self-employed sub-contractor.
“The case has been going on for over a year, and this is the first time Tradebase have used this argument. They are clearly trying to boost their profits by worming out of their legal responsibilities,” say Edinburgh Coalition Against Poverty.
“Edinburgh Coalition Against Poverty are determined that employment agencies such as Tradebase won’t get away with this kind of theft from their workers.
We urge people to come along on Thursday. Unfortunately the Employment Tribunal is in a quiet street, but it is important that people show solidarity with Jean Philippe, and show the employer and their solicitors – who will have to turn up in person – that they cannot get away with this.
What’s more, it’s important to publicise that people are acting in solidarity with agency workers so that more workers are encouraged to take a stand against these rip-off agencies.”
Edinburgh Coalition Against Poverty organises a solidarity phone tree, so we can take collective action to support people in conflict with the authorities – get in touch to join or find out more.