Scottish bar group hit with mass complaint from workers

10 January 2022 by
Scottish bar group hit with mass complaint from workers

A Scottish bar and restaurant group has been accused of mistreating its workers in a complaint signed by 71 current and former staff members.

MacMerry300 and Abandon Ship said the allegations were "bewildering" and had not been raised with senior management before being released publicly last week.

Trade union Unite has compiled a seven-page collective grievance which it claims represents 70% of the company's employees across 13 venues in Dundee and Glasgow.

Allegations related to Covid-19 safety included that the company failed to inform staff who were potential close contacts of other team members testing positive, and that staff awaiting PCR test results felt pressured to come into work.

It was claimed sites across Dundee and Glasgow lacked basic sanitary measures such as hand soap in staff areas and team members had to source their own PPE due to a lack of masks provided by the company.

The complaint also raised concerns around pay and employee wellbeing, alleging staff were not being paid on time or at all and team members were denied breaks during busy shifts.

It has been signed by current and former staff from venues including the Abandon Ship bars in Glasgow and Dundee.

As part of a resolution Unite has called for a full investigation into health and safety concerns and for all current and former staff to be paid outstanding wages and holiday pay and sick pay.

A spokesperson for MacMerry300 said: "I'd like to make it clear that no member of staff, nor Unite the union, brought any grievances to the senior management team before releasing a frankly bewildering list of complaints, in what is a highly regulated industry.

"We are also being denied any opportunity to address any genuine issues constructively, as Unite has ignored all our requests to meet on any day during this week.

"Staff say they will only meet with the union present, so we are stuck in Catch22; unable to explore any issues or to defend ourselves. We have said from the outset that we are happy to listen and are at a loss to see who benefits from this being played out in the media."

Bryan Simpson, of Unite Hospitality, said: "Despite originally agreeing to meet to discuss the serious issues raised by 70% of staff, the director of MacMerry 300 - Phil Donaldson is now refusing to communicate and wants to go through lawyers rather than speak to his workers collectively.

"We would urge him and other directors to heed the requests of a majority of their staff and meet with the union which represents the workforce."

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