TENSIONS ran high and a barber ended up going to hospital after members of a union confronted him about wages.

Hamid Caram, owner of CJ Barbers in St James’s Street, Brighton, and his colleague Cyrus Shabini were pushed to their limits when Brighton Solidarity Federation, set up “to protect people in the workplace”, confronted them.

Mr Caram said it was the “hundredth time” the protesters had bombarded his business and acted aggressively.

The union has been demanding the barber pays thousands to a man it claims was employed for two months, which staff at CJ Barbers deny.

The Argus:

Mr Caram and the protesters clashed outside his business.

At one point Mr Caram fell to the floor and video footage shows Mr Shabini shouting and raising his arms in the street in a rage, holding bits of a broken chair that were smashed in the protest.

The demonstration lasted about an hour during which Mr Caram takes his top off to show the protesters scars from his latest operations.

He said: “I am 60, I have had operations all over my body and I can’t handle this any more and I tried to show them, but my English isn’t good and they just don’t listen, it’s so so frustrating. They keep coming back about something that never happened.”

He fell to the floor a second time and had to be taken to hospital.

The Argus:

Solidarity Federation began targeting the barbers a few months ago after one of its members claimed he was owed money.

Mr Caram said the man is a youngster fresh out of college and wanted to volunteer. He was allowed to use their equipment and Mr Caram paid him £50 a week to hand out flyers.

He said after two weeks, the volunteer was asked to leave. The man later asked for a reference which CJ Barbers denied. They union is demanding he is paid £2,821.63.

Mr Shabini now wants the union to go and talk to him personally.

He said: “When you have been through this you lose your temper. I didn’t hurt any of them. I got upset, but they have been at us for the last three months for something they have no evidence for. I have asked them to come and talk to me but they said they won’t until I pay. When they find the evidence to show me I should then, sure, but it’s not the case.”

One CJ customer said: “I was harassed a couple of times when I have popped in and was called lots of names which were uncalled for. The anarchists outside the shop had no respect for anyone and were causing an inconvenience to not only customers but many others just passing by.”

Another customer said during the protest she was called a “filthy scumbag” for using their services.

A spokesman for Solidarity Federation said: “This business owes its worker over £2,800 in unpaid wages. We will continue to escalate our campaign. Things will only get worse for CJ Barbers if they continue to refuse to pay their worker the minimum wage.”

He said the “volunteer” was employed as an “apprentice” worthy of full time minimum wage, holiday and pension entitlements.

A Sussex Police spokesman said: “Just after 6pm on Thursday, June 20, police were called to St James’s Street, Brighton, where a protest had apparently taken place outside CJ Barbers shop.

“A man was arrested on suspicion of common assault but was released later in the absence of any evidence to justify his further detention at that time and in the absence of any identified victim.”