Bar staff set for strike action 'at risk of redundancy'

Unite has accused the 13th Note in Glasgow of 'trade union intimidation' after staff were told they are at risk of redundancy.

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A union has accused a bar of “trade union intimidation” after staff were told they could be at risk of redundancy days after voting for strike action.

Staff at the 13th Note in Glasgow backed action in demands for “drastic improvements” to health and safety measures at the venue.

The owner, Jacqueline Fennessy, said any health and safety concerns had been dealt with and staff were paid above the living wage.

Unite Scotland, which represents 95% of staff, said it wanted to secure better wages alongside a more secure work environment.

Management from the venue issued an email to all staff members on Monday, stating the company is “at risk” of potential redundancies.

The email states that this is down to “poor performance” within the business, citing “excruciating utility bills” and “hot weather” as some of the reasons behind the decision.

The full email from management at the venue read: “I am writing to inform you of a business announcement, and that we are ‘at risk’ of potential redundancies.

“My reasons for these redundancies are solely based on the poor performance of the venue over several months.

“With increased costs across the board, especially excruciating utility bills, and with weeks of hot weather also affecting us.

“At the moment, the forecast does not look good, and the cash flow is very worrying.

“I feel it is important to give you as much warning as possible of the serious risk of redundancy.

“At the moment, I have not decided who exactly is at risk, and no selection process has been taken at this stage.

“I will know better at the start of next week when I sit down with my office manager and go through the accounts and monitor the situation over the next few weeks.

“I will have a one to one with all staff to discuss this in more detail. Once I look at your rotas, I will send an email confirming a day and a time for a follow up meeting.”

Unite hospitality reacted to the news on Monday evening, referring to the email as “trade union intimidation”.

The union tweeted: “In the last hour, the owner of the 13th Note Café has sent “at risk of redundancy” emails to our members, days after they voted for strike action.

“This is trade union intimidation pure and simple and it will not be tolerated.”

Unite’s lead rep at 13th Note, Nick Troy, said: “For seventeen weeks, we have been trying to reason with the management at 13th Note.

“From wages to hygiene, to understaffing and our demands for union recognition, we’re still not being properly listened to. Surely the strength of the strike vote shows it’s time for that to change.”

The strike at the 13th Note will begin on Friday, July 14 and will last every weekend until August 6 unless members accept an offer from the venue.

Ms Fennessy, owner of the 13th Note, said: “There is absolutely no ‘trade union victimisation and intimidation’.

“An Acas reconciliation meeting was agreed with Unite and myself last week.

“This meeting is booked in for July 19.

“I have absolutely no say in a union strike going ahead.”

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