Why People Are Boycotting Byron Burger

Photographed by Ruby Yeh.
People are angrily tweeting their intention to #BoycottByron, the gourmet burger chain, after the company was accused last night of handing its own workers to immigration services.

Earlier this month, 35 Byron employees from Brazil, Nepal, Egypt and Albania were rounded up and arrested in a raid on London branches of the restaurant, the Guardian reported.

Byron reportedly lured the employees, some of whom had worked there for up to five years, into one place by saying they had to attend a health and safety meeting. Immigration officials from the Home Office then quickly arrived to interview the staff and arrested them on suspicion of breaching immigration laws.

A senior Byron employee called the company’s actions “fucking disgusting”, telling the Guardian the staff weren’t even given the chance to say goodbye to colleagues.

Byron confirmed it assisted with the raid and said the employees had been working in the UK illegally, using “false/counterfeit documentation”.

Many people are outraged that a big business would throw its own employees under the bus in this way, particularly by using deceptive tactics.
Byron isn’t the only high-street chain accused of treating its employees badly recently. Here are some other companies you might want to think twice about before handing over your hard-earned pennies.

Sports Direct

The budget sportswear retailer has been accused of exploiting its employees for years through its use of zero-hour contracts, which offer little job security and poor pay. Just last week, a report by MPs accused the company's founder of running it "like a Victorian workhouse', the Guardian reported, where workers are treated "without dignity or respect" and "as commodities rather than human beings."


The department store is in the process of winding down, with all stores expected to be closed in the coming weeks. More than 11,000 staff were told they face redundancy earlier this week, ITV News reported. The cause of all this? A report by MPs said the store's collapse was a result of the "leadership failures and personal greed" of the company's former boss Phillip Green, the chairman of the Arcadia group, which includes Topshop and Miss Selfridge.


The high street Italian restaurant chain came under fire in April when it announced it was cutting its staff's perks, reducing their tips and limiting their choice of free meals. The change came days after the living wage was introduced, but Zizzi claimed the cuts were unrelated, the Guardian reported.

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