The Harrods store in London


Harrods has responded to a protest by its hospitality staff  by agreeing to stop taking a cut of tips left by diners.

Earlier this month, the British union United Voices of the World organized a protest outside the luxury department store amid an ongoing dispute over restaurant tips.

The union, which represents hospitality workers’ rights, complained that Harrods holds 75 percent of tips left by diners, which should be left to wait staff. It did not involve any of the retail workers. After the protest, Harrods confirmed that the company was directly engaging with its employees to review the internal “tronc” system which manages the distribution of the service charge.

“Over recent months, Harrods has been meeting with restaurant employees to discuss the system through which it distributes service charge,” said a Harrods spokeswoman. “This has been in order to review all aspects of the current system and ensure that the service charge is distributed fairly to all restaurant staff. Following these discussions, Harrods is announcing a new system whereby 100 percent of a discretionary 10 percent service charge will be distributed directly to staff.”

The protest, held on Jan. 7, during the retailer’s popular winter sale, resulted in six arrests and interrupted trading, although the store remained open.

London’s Metropolitan Police confirmed that during the protest a smoke bomb was let off and a total of six people were arrested, including an 18-year-old man who was taken into custody for discharging a flare and a 51-year-old woman charged with obstructing police and criminal damage.

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