To make sure you never miss out on your favourite NEW stories, we're happy to send you some reminders

Click 'OK' then 'Allow' to enable notifications

Woman sues bosses after being sacked for eating leftover sandwich
Featured Image Credit: Facebook/United Voices of the World the union

Woman sues bosses after being sacked for eating leftover sandwich

Supporters have begun demonstrating against a cleaning company that fired Gabriela Rodriguez for eating a leftover sandwich

A woman is taking legal action against her former employer after claiming they fired her for eating a sandwich she believed was going to be thrown away.

Gabriela Rodriguez, 39, originally from Ecuador, claims she was unfairly dismissed from London-based cleaning firm Total Clean.

The cleaner had regularly been stationed at leading civil law firm Devonshires, but says was fired for eating a £1.50 ($1.89) tuna sandwich that was left out after a meeting had concluded.

The law firm, speaking to the Daily Mail, insisted it did not ‘make a formal complaint against Gabriela and expressly told Total Clean not to take any against her.’

Writing on Facebook, the union explained it is expecting to take legal action.
The United Voices of the World Union/Facebook

“Total Clean carried out their own investigation and the decision to dismiss Gabriela was taken without any input or influence from Devonshires whatsoever,” a statement added.

“This is a private matter between Total Clean and Gabriela but we have made clear to Total Clean that we would not object – as we never have done – to Gabriela attending and working on our premises if Total Clean changes its position.”

Total Clean has called Gabriela's claims 'misleading and inaccurate'.

Following a disciplinary hearing on November 24 last year, Gabriela says she was sent a strongly worded letter confirming her termination from work.

The United Voices of the World Union, which represents migrant workers in the UK, has defended Gabriela and issued an appeal against the decision, helping organize demonstrations against her termination.

Writing on Facebook, the union explained it is expecting to take legal action against Total Clean.

The union said: “Quick placard and banner making session today in preparation for our action next week in solidarity with Gabriela.

“Gabriela is an Ecuadorian single mother who after 2 years cleaning the offices of a corporate law firm was summarily sacked just before Christmas on grounds of "theft" - the "theft" in question being a £1.50 Tesco tuna sandwich that she ate which was left over from a lawyers meeting, and was due to be discarded.

Rodriguez has said she is still angry about the incident.
United Voices of the World Union/Facebook

“Sacking cleaners on ridiculous grounds like this - treating them like the dirt they clean - is not uncommon though is always outrageous and in UVW we always fight back.

“We are taking the case to court but that takes time, and justice delayed is justice denied, so in the meantime we'll be doing what we do best and fighting back through direction.”

A Total Clean spokesperson told the Guardian: “While we would not typically comment on personnel issues, we would like to address the misleading and inaccurate information that is being alleged by our ex-employee. It is important to us to maintain the integrity of our workforce and service by ensuring we deal appropriately with any actions that undermine the hard work and reputation of our incredible team who conduct themselves impeccably. Trust and honesty is of paramount importance.

“All steps taken have been in accordance with UK employment law following the proper investigative and disciplinary process. We will be making no further comment on the matter.”

Speaking of her termination, Gabriela has said she is still angry about the incident and how she has allegedly been treated.

“I put it in the fridge to have after my shift ended, because the sandwiches were left in the kitchen for other staff when ground-floor meetings finished, and I understood I had the right to eat it as someone who worked in the building,” she said.

"The way they got rid of me was horrible. I've been accused of theft when all I did was eat a small sandwich that was probably going to end up in the bin."

UNILAD has contacted Total Clean and Devonshires for further comment.

Topics: News, UK News, London