Top 10 Scrooge bosses of the year - Harrods

UniteLive highlights this year's worst employers, including department store Harrods

Reading time: 4 min

This year throughout the festive period, UniteLive will highlight our top ten worst bosses of the year – employers so miserly and mean that they’d put Scrooge himself to shame.

Today we look at Harrods, London’s most exclusive and luxurious department store. While Harrods’ clientele may be treated like royalty, those who work at the iconic shop are all but forgotten.

Harrods’ security guards are now fighting for a fair pay rise after their Scrooge bosses imposed a pay cut dressed up as a pay rise. They were offered a miserly 7 per cent at a time when the RPI rate of inflation has exceeded 14 per cent.

The Harrods security guards have taken several days of strike action in late November and throughout December. They argue that Harrods can well afford a pay rise for the security guards whose jobs are absolutely essential for the success of their business.

After all, Harrods made a profit of £51m in 2021/22 and doubled the pay of its managing director Michael Ward to £2.3 million, even though the company claimed nearly £6 million under the government’s Covid furlough scheme.

But Harrods’ bosses’ mean-spiritedness knows no bounds – instead of coming to the table to negotiate a pay offer, Harrods instead brought in agency workers to break the strike.

Up until very recently, this sinister move would have been illegal. But under the new anti-trade union law passed this summer by the government, Harrods has now been allowed to replace striking workers with agency staff. The company threatened the workforce with the legislation previously and is one of the first employers in the country to use it.

Unite understands that agency workers from Protective Security –  the company contracted by Harrods – who were brought in to break the strikes were not told there was industrial action taking place and were uncomfortable crossing a picket line.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham slammed Harrods’ latest tactics.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said, “The Qatari state has rightly been condemned for the way workers have been treated in that country. Now it is embroiled in a row over the way workers are being treated in this one.

“Harrods believes using this disgraceful new law is to its advantage, but it is just making the dispute worse and dragging more parties into it,” she added. “Our members are undaunted and they have the full backing of Unite behind them.”

Stay tuned for more Scrooge bosses tomorrow.

By UniteLive team