Paolo Nutini signs letter in support of 'first UK bar strike in 20 years'

The Scottish singer is among a number of musicians supporting taking industrial action at the venue.

Paolo Nutini and Mogwai sign letter in support of Glasgow 13th Note bar strike SNS Group

Paolo Nutini has signed an open letter in support of workers taking strike action at a popular bar in Glasgow.

The Paisley-born singer is among several musicians to put their names to the letter expressing solidarity with the staff.

Signatories include Nutini, Stuart Braithwaite of Mogwai, members of The Twilight Sad and Declan Welsh, among others.

Unite Hospitality said it is the first time in 20 years a bar has taken strike action in the UK.

The union said it represents 95% of the workers employed at the venue, with 100% of members voting to support industrial action.

Employees at the King Street pub walked out on Friday and will do so every weekend until August 6.

They are calling for better wages, improvements to health and safety and trade union recognition.

Jacqueline Fennessy, who owns the bar, said any health and safety concerns had been dealt with and staff are paid above the living wage.

In an open letter, Scottish musicians offered their support to the workers.

The letter reads: “As Glasgow-based artists, we know how important the 13th Note is as a cultural institution, essential to our city’s music scene. Since the late ‘90s it has offered a platform for unsigned artists to be seen by their first audiences, from Idlewild to Franz Ferdinand to Belle & Sebastian and so many more.

“Over the past four months, we have been very concerned to read in the press, and hear from the workers themselves, that despite repeated collective calls, the owner of the 13th Note has not made the necessary investment and changes required to make the kitchen, bar & live-event venue the best that it can be.”

The musicians said they support the workers calling for a “better venue that honours its cultural legacy”.

The letter continues: “We support the striking workers of the 13th Note in their campaign for a fairer and safer workplace. We urge the owner of The Note to see this as an opportunity to listen, rather than a confrontation with her workforce.

“An opportunity for the owner to cooperate with their workers, to resolve this dispute and to reassert The Note as one of the best venues in Glasgow for lovers of music, good food and workers’ rights.”

Workers at the 13th Note began their strike on Friday.STV News

Unite Hospitality lead organiser Bryan Simpson said: “For the first time in a generation, bar workers in Glasgow have taken strike action to win a safer, fairer workplace with union recognition.  

They have shown to every hospitality worker across the country that they can and should take a collective stand against poverty pay, zero-hour contracts and poor conditions.

“The 13th Note is one of the most culturally significant live events venues in Scotland. This collective letter and the signatories we managed to get in a matter of days is testament to how important it is to our city.

“The workers who make the venue what it is are making a very simple and reasonable collective demand – a safe workplace, with wages that they can live on and union recognition.

“The who’s who of the Glasgow music scene support them fully.

“We would urge Jacqueline Fennessy to take heed of this letter, to respect the collective voice of this venue and give them what they deserve.”

Fennessy previously said: “Any issues raised by [environmental health] were dealt with immediately and we were authorised to reopen within 72 hours.

“All staff have had a pay increase and are being paid above the living wage.”

Who signed the letter?

Stuart Braithwaite – Mogwai 

James Graham – The Twilight Sad

Andy MacFarlane – The Twilight Sad

Johnny Docherty – The Twilight Sad

Brendan Smith – The Twilight Sad

Grant Hutchison – The Twilight Sad 

Declan Welsh – Declan Welsh & the Decadent West

Paolo Nutini

Calum Baird

Michael Kasparis – Night School Records

Paul Thomson – Free Love, ex-Franz Ferdinand 

Lewis Cook – Free Love

Suzi Cook – Free Love

RM Hubbert

Robert Dallas Gray – ex-Life Without Buildings 

James Yorkston

Paul Michael Henry

Phil Eaglesham – P6 / Stretchheads / Desalvo


Leon Green – The Lapelles, Joesef 

Jamie Holmes – The Lapelles

Jack Anderson – The Lapelles

Brèagha Cuinn – Bratakus

Onnagh Cuinn – Bratakus

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