Our local was recently contacted by a worker who was owed wages after leaving employment. As all communication from head office had ceased, they had no expectation to be paid.
We organised using tried and tested methods. Publicly available information regarding the company was collected. A demand letter was drafted. A multi-platform social media campaign was made ready. All avenues of support were explored.
Fortunately, much of this groundwork proved unnecessary.
The local sent the demand letter in conjunction with the worker. As no response was made, we made two follow up phone-calls to the head office. Shortly thereafter, the worker was assured that they would be paid in full.
Astonishingly, the worker was reprimanded for seeking outside assistance. The employer feigned ignorance and expressed hurt feelings. As a parting kick, the employer accused the worker and Solfed of behaviour amounting to intimidation.
As contacting a corporate entity to make a courteous and lawful demand does not, outside of a fevered, guilty imagination, amount to anything approaching “intimidation”, the charge is of course, ludicrous.
We are delighted to announce that the worker has been paid and that no further action is to be taken at the present time.
Weeks of neglect and ghosting were undone by three days of light pressure.
This action serves to remind us all that gaslighting, insults and infantile threats are not functional defenses. Disorganisation and carelessness are no excuses for wage theft.
Employers in all sectors would do well to remember that Liverpool Solfed will fight for and enforce workers’ rights. They would do well to remember that plush websites and affable social media presences will not mask the stigma of wage theft. We remind all employers that reputation is a fragile thing.
Workers who contact us, as a rule, are not unionised in any formal way. Often they are not well versed in their rights. English is frequently not their first language and their support networks tend to be limited. We emphasise that none of these vulnerabilities can be weaponised against such flagrant contempt and that these should not be barriers to enforcement of basic rights.