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“We were fired under a pretext”

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“We were fired under a pretext”

Published24. April 2024, 04:39

Bang at Flying Tiger: “We were fired under an excuse”

Employees at the Flying Tiger branch in Bern train station demanded more wages and turned to the Unia union. They say they were then harassed and eventually fired under pretexts.

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  • In order to demand a wage increase, Flying Tiger employees at Bern train station contacted the Unia union.

  • After targeted individual discussions and a massive reduction in working hours, they were fired under pretexts, the former employees say.

  • The management of Flying Tiger rejected the allegations when asked by 20 Minutes.

Die employees The Flying Tiger branch in Bern train station, the majority of which are students, are all employed on an hourly basis apart from the branch manager. Because, according to the students, the basic wage of 19.66 francs – with holiday bonuses 22 francs – was hardly enough to make ends meet, they demanded one salary increase and finally turned to Unia, like the union newspaper, in autumn 2023 «Work» reported.

One-on-one meetings with union members

However, management refused to hold discussions. After using the Union According to the request made, the union members were specifically invited by the branch manager for individual discussions – the reason given was “general information”, says former employee Céline* (23) at 20 minutes. “Personal conversations always had very negative connotations.”

The content of the conversation was the same for all students: there were grievances in the team and a gloomy mood, the shop didn’t look good. According to the former employee Julian* (22), the minutes of the conversation did not agree with this: “It contained things such as refusal to work and demotivation of work colleagues, extreme accusations.”

Massively fewer working hours

Afterwards, the working hours of the union members were massively reduced. In November 2023 he received two more shifts, says Julian. “In December there was another shift, in January there was none at all.” Shift swaps among employees were prevented, but at the same time new workers were hired.

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Ultimately, seven people, including Julian, had a personal conversation with the branch manager to find out how the shift allocation would be handled. A few days later, all seven received written notice of termination.

“There were wild accusations,” says Julian. «It was said that we tried to intimidate our boss. It was clear to us that this was just an excuse to get rid of us.” The management in Lucerne did not respond to corrections. Julian and the other affected parties want to take legal action against the termination with the help of Unia.

Flying Tiger denies allegations

When asked by 20 Minutes, the management of Flying Tiger rejects the accusation that employees experience disadvantages because of their membership in a union. «We recognize Unia’s commitment to employees. Discrimination of any kind, bullying or harassment are not tolerated in our company.” If termination has to be given, it should never be done lightly. “If this does happen, we will strictly adhere to Swiss labor law and our company’s guidelines.”

“No exception rules for individual locations”

When asked why Flying Tiger did not grant a wage increase, the company replied: “In accordance with our corporate values, we treat all employees equally. Our salary system is therefore based on wage bands that are applied throughout Switzerland and thus prevent salary discrimination.” This means that there are no salary exceptions – such as an increase in compensation – for individual locations. Flying Tiger has no further comment on the matter.

*Names of the editors known

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