A demonstration by Class War and trade unionists, which was also attended by shadow chancellor John McDonnell, brought London's West End to a standstill on Saturday, 14 May. About 200 protestors, chanting "Topshop, shame on you", were campaigning for Topshop to pay the London Living Wage to its floor staff and to stop alleged intimidation of unionised staff members.
Brawls broke out between police and demonstrators as officers tried to stop some of the group marching into John Lewis. Smoke bombs were set off by members of Class War, according to a Sky News report, filling the air with red smoke.
Organisers of the event, The United Voices of the World union (UVW), said that two Topshop cleaners had been "victimised and bullied" for joining their organisation.
Teresa Grey, a member of the group said in a Guardian report: "Two Topshop cleaners joined our union. For that, one was sacked, the other suspended."
Class War protestor, Aysan Dennis, added: "We want our voices heard. This is a class war."
According to UVW, in spite of substantial profits, workers on Topshop's shop floor are paid wages that are about 30% lower than the current London Living Wage of £9.40/hour – approximately £6.58/hour.
One cleaner told UVW: "Our work is not valued at Topshop. Often our contracts do not reflect the actual hours we work."
The Arcadia Group, owned by Sir Philip Green, recently reported an annual turnover of more than £2bn ($2.87m) and an increase in annual profits of more than £250m. Since selling the chain store BHS for £1, Green's wealth is estimated at around £3.2bn, according to the Sunday Times Rich List of 2016.
The retail tycoon is due to be questioned by MPs on 15 June over the sale of BHS which went into administration and also its pension arrangements.