Fundraiser launched after bar staff made redundant hours before meeting

On Wednesday, the 13th Note announced that it had been 'forced' to close its doors and appoint liquidators.

Fundraiser launched after 13th Note bar staff in Glasgow made redundant hours before meeting Google Maps

A fundraiser has been launched to support workers from a Glasgow bar and music venue which closed down amid a dispute with staff members.

On Wednesday, the 13th Note announced that it had been “forced” to close its doors and appoint liquidators.

A total of 18 staff members will lose their jobs due to the closure after its owner, Jacqueline Fennessy, claimed Unite the Union had “sabotaged” the business.

A fundraiser, with a target of £5,000, has been launched by Unite Hospitality to raise money to “protect the workers against the immediate hardships of redundancy and our campaign towards reclaiming the venue”.

Earlier this month staff members voted to take strike action in demands for “drastic improvements” to health and safety measures at the venue, and to secure better wages.

Workers staged a walk out from Friday July 14 to Sunday July 16, in what Unite the Union said was the first bar workers’ strike across the UK in over 20 years.

There had been plans to take action every weekend until August 6.

On Wednesday, Ms Fennessy released a statement announcing the closure of the venue and claimed that Unite had subjected the bar to a “repeated onslaught on social media and the wider press with false and misleading stories that have been published unchecked” which led to revenue decline.

Bryan Simpson from Unite Hospitality, said: “Unite had a firm commitment to meet with ACAS, a meeting which the owner called for, and promises that redundancies would be paused. Then, without even speaking with the staff, the owner has reneged on this and went to the media with a sob story whilst leaving her workers high and dry.

“The employer didn’t have the decency to tell some of their workers that they are being made redundant before she briefed to press with a smear campaign, aimed to discredit those who have made her profits over the years.

“It was the workers who made this venue, and we will do everything we can to ensure that this continues.”

A statement from 13th Note workers, released through Unite said: “To close our workplace without even informing those that would lose their job before she briefed the press is testament to the type of employer that we have had to deal with.

“We have negotiated strenuously with the owner of the 13th Note for the past 18 weeks to achieve basic workers’ rights, such as contracts, equal pay and for the health and safety issues to be rectified.

“In our opinion, this is the bare legal minimum that Jacqueline Fennessy should have been doing in the first place. As a result we have been left in destitute and precarious for simply wanting the Note to be the best vegan and live music venue in Glasgow.

“The statement itself includes numerous lies, inaccuracies, and untruths, which we will address.

“First and foremost, the workers are the union. Unite has supported us in negotiations and legal issues, but the drive for improved conditions and our collective power exists solely through up.

“Jacqueline claimed she ‘cherished and loved’ this venue when, as an owner, she was wholly absent from the Note for many years and left the Note to fester and decay, despite our collective concerns, which put workers and customers in danger. Jacqueline has alleged that the venue has lost money because of us unionising, when the venue has lost money because she has driven it into the ground.

“Were it not for us unionising, we would not have equal pay for women and young workers, for example.

“We are the people who have put blood, sweat and tears into this venue, making the owner millions in personal wealth over the course of the last 20+ years, therefore we know the power of workers at the 13th Note and every hospitality venue.

“As we showed at the weekend, without us, no pint is poured, no dish is served and not a beat is played without the explicit permission of workers at the 13th Note. We know how to run this venue, evidently Jacqueline did not, which is why we will be doing everything in our power, with the support of our union and the wider trade union movement, along with customers past and present and the general public to take the venue back into workers’ hands.”

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