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Market porters lose fight for cash

Market porters lose fight for cash

Porters at a fruit and vegetable market have lost a legal battle with their bosses over payments due for moving and stacking goods.

The five workers at New Covent Garden Market in London took issue with the reduced share of porterage money they have been receiving.

Money comes from customers who pay firms if they want produce moved and or stacked and is usually shared among registered porters. Disputes emerged because firms began taking on unregistered porters and paying them a different wage to the registered workers.

The five porters took their argument to court, pointing out that under a collective agreement that dates to 1974, registered porters could share all money in the pot, including that of unregistered workers at the market. But the Court of Appeal said that the agreement from the 1970s is designed to remunerate anyone "performing the functions of porters" and that, at the time, this only applied to registered workers because they were the "only species of porter".

The case was passed to the court following employment tribunal hearings.

IBB’s Employment Team provides advice on the employment aspects of all major business decisions. To contact a member of the team for advice, call us on 01895 207892 or email employment@ibblaw.co.uk