Around 200 members of staff at a luxury Scottish hotel have received almost £140,000 in withheld tips following a campaign by a trade union.
Unite alleged hotel management at the opulent Cameron House, near Loch Lomond, had introduced a 10% service charge in January.
The union claimed the change meant bar and restaurant staff were losing between £200 and £300 per month.
It also stated that 100% of all tips paid by card were withheld by the hotel to be distributed at the end of the year, and 15% of all service charges were retained by Cameron House management to pay all hotel staff a Christmas bonus.
The resort has since agreed to hand back the huge sum, made up of deducted service charges withheld since January this year.
It was subsequently revealed that the hotel had retained 15% – totalling £138,000 – of all the service changes it received since January.
From now on, all service charges and card tips, worth around £70,000 a month, will be shared fairly amongst staff.
Unite Hospitality organiser Bryan Simpson said: “Legislation to ensure that hospitality workers receive fair tips is much needed and long overdue.
“But this result shows that workers do not have to wait for politicians. By acting collectively and organising a tipping committee, Unite’s Cameron House members took back what was theirs and demonstrated to hospitality workers across the UK that they can do it too.”
The changes to Cameron House’s tipping and service charge policy were brought about after the union helped the workers set up a staff tipping committee.
The committee then investigated exactly how the company was distributing tips and service charges and compelled it to introduce a fairer system and return the withheld cash.
Julie Nixon, Cameron House assistant sommelier and Unite hospitality rep, said: “Our tips are the difference between us being able to make ends meet on a minimum wage job and not. We are delighted that Cameron House has finally seen sense and facilitated the establishment of a democratically elected tips committee.
“Fair tips legislation is sorely needed in our industry but while it has long-been promised, it’s never been delivered. In the meantime, Unite members, workers like us, will continue to stand together to demand what we deserve.”
A spokesperson for Cameron House Resort said: “Cameron House has always distributed all service charges and gratuities to eligible staff.
“We’re delighted that, after a democratic vote, our valued team members have agreed a new distribution model with the primary modification being that the portion of these monies that historically had been paid annually will now be paid monthly.
“We are committed to always doing what is right and will continue to listen to our team members and continue to collaborate with them on making Cameron House truly exceptional.”