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Cleaner Fired for Eating Leftover Tuna Sandwich at London Law Firm

Cleaner Fired for Eating Leftover Tuna Sandwich at London Law Firm

Cleaner Fired for Eating Leftover Tuna Sandwich at London Law Firm

Gabriela Rodriguez, a cleaner from Ecuador, found herself at the center of a controversy after being fired from her job at Devonshires Solicitors, a prestigious London law firm. The reason? Eating a leftover tuna sandwich she found in a meeting room, sparking a legal battle and allegations of discrimination.

Rodriguez, who had worked at the law firm for two years, was dismissed by Total Clean, the contractor that employs her, after a complaint about leftover sandwiches not being returned. The United Voices of the World union, representing migrant workers, claimed that Rodriguez, a Latin American with limited English proficiency, faced discrimination and would not have been fired if she were not from that background.

According to reports, Rodriguez thought the sandwich, valued at 1.50 euros, would be discarded after the meeting. However, she was sacked for taking “client property … without authority or reasonable excuse.” This prompted protests outside the law firm’s office, with union workers delivering tuna cans, sandwiches, balloons, and love letters in support of Rodriguez.

In an interview, Rodriguez defended her actions, stating that taking leftovers was common practice among staff members. She expressed shock at her suspension without pay and subsequent dismissal.

United Voices of the World condemned the dismissal as discriminatory and vowed to fight for Rodriguez’s reinstatement. Petros Elia, the union’s general secretary, emphasized the need for respect, dignity, and equality for all workers, regardless of background.

Both Total Clean and Devonshires Solicitors responded, with Total Clean disputing Rodriguez’s account and asserting that the dismissal followed proper procedures. Devonshires Solicitors clarified that they did not formally complain about Rodriguez and expressed willingness for her to return if Total Clean reversed its decision.

The case underscores broader issues of workplace discrimination and the treatment of migrant workers, sparking a debate about fairness and equality in the workplace.

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