The real losers from #boycottbyron will be the restaurant’s employees, says Comment Central.
As another week sails by, so too does the next asinine issue with which the lefty brigade has managed to get themselves in a squirm. The latest victim is the burger chain Byron. Their crime? No, not their failure to promote the haloumi burger earnestly enough – at least not this time – but instead their willingness to assist the authorities in apprehending a group of people who had fallen foul of the law.
Although the precise details remain sketchy, it would appear the Home Office became aware that a number of employees at the restaurant chain had falsified their right-to-work documents, and as such were working illegally. Byron, in turn, agreed to assist the authorities in apprehending the felons. Cunningly, the burger chain convened the 35 workers in question by inviting them to a ‘training day’. As the group arrived, rather than being presented with a step-by-step guide on how to construct a B-Rex burger, they were instead shown the back of the police van. A number of those caught have subsequently been deported.
That Byron colluded with the Home Office in apprehending some of its own workers has been met with consternation by various groups, and on social media. Within hours of the news breaking #boycottbyron was trending on Twitter. Then, last Friday, gangs of demonstrators from The Black Revs and Malcolm X Movement emptied boxes of locusts and cockroaches inside two of the chain’s London branches. Carrying on the ‘fight’, today, teams of protestors gathered, holding banners proclaiming ‘Burgers not Borders’, and chanting: ‘How do you like your burger? Without deportation!’.
But these groups are naïve to the realities of the situation. As The Secret Barrister highlighted in its coverage of the episode, Byron like any other company (or individual) based in this country is obliged to comply with the law. Were the restaurant chain to knowingly employ somebody who is disqualified from employment due to their immigration status, it is punishable by an unlimited fine and up to five years in prison. Furthermore, if you discover you have inadvertently employed somebody without the right to work, and you continue to employ them, you are committing a crime.
But rather than contemplate these facts, instead many of the demonstrators are convinced that only one narrative can hold true: that the evil megacorporation is once again out to crush the little man. And oblivious to the more plausible explanation: that the Home Office uncovered these illegal workers and called on the employer to assist in detaining them.
Some would argue that, lured by the temptation of cheap labour, Byron knowingly turned a blind eye to the falsified right-to-work documents, and only shopped its workers in when the authorities threatened to impose a hefty fine. This is possible, but none of the evidence that has emerged thus far corroborates this explanation.
Instead, we are confronted with a situation where the loony left continues to organise intimidating demonstrations outside Byron’s branches, causing the burger chain to temporarily close these restaurants. While these store closures will cost the chain some lost revenue, the real losers are the chain’s staff, who will be denied the ability to earn their wages.