Union To Protest Outside Bookmakers Over Pay Dispute

Unite the union will be protesting outside bookmaker William Hill's shops in London, Birkenhead, Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds, Sheffield, Birmingham, Gloucester and Southampton on Friday 07 October, as part of a nationwide day of action against the gambling giant's plans to slash shop managers' pay by £6,000 a year on average.

Hundreds of long-serving and loyal shop managers and deputy managers working in the firm’s 2,400 betting shops face losing thousands of pounds in pay under the company's re-structuring shake-up.

The gambling giant is currently consulting on proposals to replace the roles of shop manager and deputy manager with a new 'customer experience manager' with a corresponding £6,000 cut in pay on average.

The company, which is the UK's largest operator, posting an operating profit of £190 million last year, has faced strong criticism in the past for its practice of forcing staff to work in shops alone.

Unite national officer Rhys McCarthy said: "Hundreds of loyal and hardworking shop managers and deputy managers face losing thousands of pounds in pay under plans which will see their wages shrink by about £6,000 on average to between £16,662 - £20,721 a year.

"It's very poor odds for our members, who are being asked to do the same job for less pay, and a far cry from the sizeable pay off former top boss, James Henderson, is likely to walk away with for his two short years at the helm. He earned a cool £2.3 million in total in his two years as head of the gambling giant.

"A £6,000 a year pay cut is a huge amount of money to lose. It has left our members fearful for the future, deeply worried about how they will pay keep up with their mortgage repayments or pay the rent when the pay cut comes.

"It's no way to treat hardworking and loyal employees. Now more than ever workers need strong trade unions like Unite on their side to stop profitable businesses like William Hill driving down wages and attacking their conditions."

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