A BARBER says he is scared of having a heart attack following a campaign against his business.

Hamid Caram, owner of CJ Barbers in Brighton, has been repeatedly targeted by an anarchist union in a dispute over wages.

The Solfed union has staged a number of protests outside his shop in St James’s Street.

Mr Caram, who suffers from a chronic heart condition, said the demonstrations were affecting his business and his staff, as well as his health.

He said: “I work hard in my business, but every morning I wake up stressed thinking ‘what can I do?’

“When I think about what is happening I feel angry and my chest feels painful.”

The Argus:

The union claims a young barber was hired as an apprentice and is owed £2,800 from the business, which members are demanding is paid in cash.

But Mr Caram says the barber was given work experience on a voluntary basis and denies owing him any money.

During several demonstrations outside the shop over the past month, a group of about 20 union members have been holding banners and shouting “shame on you” to the people inside.

Mr Caram, 56, said: “I’ve had a heart operation, a cancer operation and have to take painkillers for my back.

“Despite all this and what they are doing, I will never take any benefits.

“I will come to work each day and pay my taxes.”

The union describes itself as a “working-class organisation” which seeks to “abolish capitalism and the state”.

As well as protesting outside the shop, members have been urging people to post negative reviews of the business on the internet.

Mr Caram, who lives in Saltdean, says he offered to pay the union £500 to stop its campaign, but says it did not respond.

The shop’s manager, Syrus Shabini, said: “This is the UK. We have rules and laws here.

“This group is a gang.

“They organise themselves and hide their faces.

“We are more than happy to do this legally.

“We can go to court.”

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The 27-year-old, who lives in Kemp Town, added: “They bully and swear at our customers and anyone who tries to defend us.

“One Turkish lady tried to come in to get her kids a haircut and she ended up in tears.”

The union previously targeted the nearby Sidewinder pub, demanding cash over another, separate dispute.

The owners offered to go to a mediation service called Acas to resolve the disagreement.

But the union refused and staged several protests outside the pub.

Owner James Evans, who is leaving the pub because of the ordeal, said: “We’re lucky we can just go.

“But for him, it’s his livelihood and the business he has created.

“We have had panic attacks about what happened to us.

“It was one of the most stressful things we have ever had to go through in our professional lives.”

Brighton Solfed did not respond to a request for comment.