Protests to hit Byron after immigration raids

Byron Hamburgers restaurant in London

Gourmet burger chain which helped immigration officers detain 35 of its workers by luring them to "fake meetings" faces a wave of protests.

Protests will be held outside Byron Hamburgers restaurants in London, Manchester, Leeds and Cambridge over the next few days, after the chain's collaboration with the Home Office was revealed.

Details of the raids which took place at the start of July were revealed in the Spanish language newspaper El Ibérico last Friday.

Workers at the firm have accused management of setting up fake meetings to entrap colleagues who were working in the UK illegally, some of whom had worked for the chain for four years.

One of around 20 deported workers told The Guardian newspaper: "I couldn’t believe what was happening. But then, when I realised they were going to deport us, I felt so bad".

Byron admitted co-operating fully with the Home Office and acting upon its requests leading up to the raids and has pledged it will continue to do so.

Details of the protests are below:

Friday 29 July 2017

Shaftesbury Avenue, London - 18:00pm

Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1183363918393558/

Called by London IWW

Manchester - 18:00pm

Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1732450290354567/

Called by Manchester IWW

Leeds - 18:00pm

Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/180870085661584/

Called by Leeds IWW and Bradford IWW

Saturday 30 July 2017

Greenwich, London - 13:00pm

Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/656275197853006/

Called by South London SF

Monday 1 August 2017

Cambridge - 18:30pm

Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/162285357527789/

Holborn, London - 18:30pm

Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/318098661863389/

Called by Unite Hotel Workers, United Voices of the World Union, London Latinxs, Black Dissidents, London IWW, Lesbians and Gays Support the Migrants, South London Solfed, War On Want and Global Justice Now

Know about an event we don't have listed?
Please post the details in the comments below.

CC Image courtesy of Marco Verch on Flickr

Comments

dark_ether
Jul 29 2016 15:13

Anyone got any links to a leaflet (or text for a leaflet) that they plan on handing out at protests/pickets explaining what happened and why its shite?

Save having to do one from scratch for each local area.

Craftwork
Jul 29 2016 15:21

This from the text description in the Holborn event should be good for a leaflet:

"Last week, the Spanish language publication El Ibérico reported that on the evening of July 4th, the private equity fund* owned Byron burgers chain brought a large number of their migrant worker staff members to special 'training' session across 15 Byron restaurants in London.

When they arrived, immigration police were waiting for them and a reported 50 were arrested and deported. A further 150 managed to avoid deportation and are in hiding according to the source.

Those deported were mostly Latin American workers. It is not clear what kind of shock and hardship their families in London are now experiencing, or whether the workers were paid their wages or any monies owed by the company.

Some of the deported workers had worked for Byron for four years. Byron were happy to use them all that time and then discard them and ruin lives overnight.

We stand in solidarity with the deported Byron workers and all migrant workers - papers or no papers.

No human being is illegal. No one is disposable. If Byron is prepared to treat one group of workers like this, how is it treating others in their workplaces?

Byron have acted shamefully and have made an example of themselves as a deeply disrespectful employer. Our protest aims to shine a spotlight on this unethical behaviour, deter it from happening anywhere else, and to support workers still working at the restaurants to resist exploitation.

*Hutton Collins Partners"

Jim
Jul 29 2016 15:27
Chilli Sauce
Jul 30 2016 04:13

Good stuff on the pickets.

Who are the United Voice of the World, btw?

Mark.
Jul 30 2016 07:35
fingers malone
Jul 30 2016 08:51

UVW are one of the cleaners unions in London, as a result of splits there are now the IWW, the IWGB, UVW and CAIWU. IWGB are also organising security and couriers.
IWW are the only ones as far as I know who have a presence outside London. The cleaners branches are mainly Spanish and Portuguese speaking workers.

Craftwork
Jul 30 2016 09:39

The United Voices of the World union is a members-led union consisting of, predominantly, workers of Latin American descent who work low-paid and outsourced jobs.

You can find details of their various campaigns from their FB page. https://www.facebook.com/uvwunion/

Chilli Sauce
Jul 30 2016 15:13

What do people think of think of this as a tactic?

Jim
Aug 1 2016 10:36
Chilli Sauce wrote:

What do people think of think of this as a tactic?

Can't see it being easy to replicate but it was quite funny.

Jim
Aug 1 2016 16:40

One of the groups backing the large protest tonight (London Latinx) don't seem happy about the tactic and have posted this on Facebook:

Quote:
Following the reports of an action involving cockroaches at two Byron restaurants on Friday eve, we want to clarify to people attending this protest on Monday that we had nothing to do with that action. The protest scheduled for Monday 1st of August will be non-violent and in solidarity with workers regardless of nationality or immigration status. Our aims as we have stated from the start are to shine a spotlight on Byron’s unethical behaviour, deter it from happening anywhere else, and to support workers still working at the restaurants to resist exploitation. Therefore we do not endorse any actions that could have negative implications for employees or people attending the protest.
dark_ether
Aug 1 2016 19:30
fingers malone wrote:
UVW are one of the cleaners unions in London, as a result of splits there are now the IWW, the IWGB, UVW and CAIWU.

Four Big Unions!

fingers malone
Aug 1 2016 22:18

best placard

Holborn today, was a good protest, about 400 I reckon in bad weather at short notice. Some cleaners union banners and Unite banners. Restaurant was shut and another one near by was also shut. Must have cost them a bit.

fingers malone
Aug 1 2016 20:52

Btw for readers outside the UK the joke is there's a popular expression 'snitches get stiches' which means roughly 'informers get beat up'.

fingers malone
Aug 1 2016 20:54

Nymphalis Antiopa
Aug 2 2016 05:27

Jim:

Quote:
One of the groups backing the large protest tonight (London Latinx) don't seem happy about the tactic and have posted this on Facebook:

Quote:
Quote:

Following the reports of an action involving cockroaches at two Byron restaurants on Friday eve, we want to clarify to people attending this protest on Monday that we had nothing to do with that action. The protest scheduled for Monday 1st of August will be non-violent and in solidarity with workers regardless of nationality or immigration status. Our aims as we have stated from the start are to shine a spotlight on Byron’s unethical behaviour, deter it from happening anywhere else, and to support workers still working at the restaurants to resist exploitation. Therefore we do not endorse any actions that could have negative implications for employees or people attending the protest.

Typical union-type need fr reasonable image in face of brutal unreasonableness. Pathetic. Pathetic. Pathetic. Pathetic. Pathetic. Pathetic. Pathetic. Pathetic. Pathetic. Pathetic.

PS
What's more, it's pathetic.

radicalgraffiti
Aug 2 2016 22:30

regarding the "london black revolutionaries" thing, these tweets are relevant

https://twitter.com/AyoCaesar/status/759668553717018625

Quote:
Waking up to London Black Revs platformed in The Independent & LBC. Money in the media is tight so I guess factchecking isn't a priority...
Quote:

Cos a tiny bit of digging would show LBR
1) Is just 1 guy
2) He's not black
3) The insect ting @ Byron involved more journos than activists

Quote:
4) He has a history of lying, in particular about women. 5) He's got a record of vile misogyny. 6) He's defended known abusers.
Quote:

This information really needs to be circulated. LBR is clearly pushing for publicity/new recruits. He's not a safe person to organise with.

OliverTwister
Aug 2 2016 18:46

Cool to see cooperation between different orgs about a concrete struggle.