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Byron burger chain tells protesters to 'respect' customers during demonstrations

'The safety of our customers and restaurant teams is paramount,' says firm

Catherine Wylie,Jemma Crew
Monday 01 August 2016 19:46 BST
Byron Protest - London

Byron Hamburgers has asked people planning a protest outside one of its restaurants to respect the safety of customers.

More than 1,000 people have said they are going to a demonstration outside the burger chain's Holborn branch on Monday evening to protest against the company's role in an immigration swoop which saw dozens of its workers rounded up.

The protest comes after activists said they released thousands of insects into the burger chain's Central St Giles and Holborn branches on Friday evening.

They accused Byron of carrying out "underhand entrapment" of its workers after 35 people were removed by immigration officials in July.

A Facebook page about the protest, set to take place at 6.30pm, says: "Byron have acted shamefully and have made an example of themselves as a deeply disrespectful employer.

"Our protest aims to shine a spotlight on this unethical behaviour, deter it from happening anywhere else, and to support workers still working at the restaurants to resist exploitation."

More than 1,000 have clicked on the page to say they are going, while more than 2,000 have said they are interested.

A Byron spokeswoman said: "The safety of our customers and restaurant teams is paramount, and we would ask protesters to respect their safety this evening."

Last week, the Home Office said 35 people from Albania, Brazil, Nepal and Egypt were arrested for immigration offences at a number of restaurants across London, following an operation carried out with the "full co-operation" of Byron in July.

The burger business carried out the correct "right to work" checks on staff members, but had been shown false or counterfeit documentation, and will therefore not face civil penalty action, the Home Office said.

Press Association

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