Branch Secretary :

Hestia: staff threatened for handing out union material

Shortly after pay claim



Unite the Union reps and some members have been sent letters from Hestia’s Director of HR warning them that they will be disciplined if they continue to engage in trade union activity. 



In the letter, Mel Cox did not give any examples of the activity members were alleged to have engaged in, but the letter was issued shortly after Unite the Union submitted a pay claim calling on Hestia to increase staff’s wages




Mel Cox told workers that “no Trade Union business / meetings / discussions about membership, or the provision of correspondence relating to trade union activity should be conducted or distributed in working hours, or to or on premises where Hestia runs it operation without the express permission of myself or the Deputy Director of HR Megan Darroch. Please be clear you have not and do not have my express permission to do so.



She went on to warn that “(if) this request is not complied with it may be appropriate to consider formal action in line with Hestia’s disciplinary procedure.”



Low paid



Hestia’s low paid workforce is understandably concerned about the effect the cost-of-living crisis will have on them and their households. That they are being threatened with disciplinary action for sharing trade union materials relating to a pay claim, or even discussing it with their colleagues, is shocking. 



Unite Regional Officer, Steve O’Donnell, has written to Hestia defending the membership and suggesting a meeting between himself, the reps and Hestia management to agree a way forward that fosters good employee and industrial relations. There is yet to be a response from management.




Unite membership in Hestia is growing and Unite had a significant victory in winning the London Living Wage for staff last year.


Unite is fully commited to supplorting members at Hestia and appeals to management to reconsider its bullying approach to staff who quite legitmately wish to organise through Unite.


Hestia worker.


17 June 2022.



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