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Crowdfunder boosts battered morale of sacked 13th Note staff

This news post is 10 months old

Union claims owner Jacqueline Fennessy is using tit-for-tat tactics

Donations for sacked staff at a Glasgow music and food venue have hit £6,400 in just two days.

A Crowdfunder was set-up immediately after news of redundancies was announced, raising the sum in record time.

13th Note owner Jacqueline Fennessy announced its closure claiming that Unite Hospitality were responsible for 'sabotaging' her business after the union’s members took industrial action over poor pay and conditions.

Staff were informed on Wednesday morning that liquidators had been called in after they began a series of strikes over a long-running pay and conditions dispute.

They claim that the decision to pull the plug on the King Street venue was a tit-for-tat response designed to get the union back to the negotiating table.

Nick Troy, a chef at 13th Note, said that the donations have boosted employees’ morale.

He said: "The response in such a short space of time has been brilliant, it really means a lot to all of us.

"We've been left on the breadline with no idea if we will ever see any of the wages owed to us, so donations like these really will make a real difference and help us to survive."

Unite, which represents 95% of the workforce, submitted a collective grievance in February citing appalling issues with health and safety, poverty pay, and work insecurity.

It said that only after months of fruitless negotiations and exhausting all options, staff voted unanimously for strike action.  

It said Fennessy refused to meet on “very reasonable demands,” instead opting to embark on a campaign of trade union “victimisation.”

The union said: “In spite of the overwhelming collective voice of our members, the owner has seen fit to liquidate the venue with immediate effect (19/07), two hours before a scheduled ACAS meeting with our representativesleaving our members jobless during a cost of living-crisis.”

Bryan Simpson, who organises hospitality staff for Unite the Union, says he believes Fennessy has acted outwith the law.

He said: "Jacqueline Fennessy made a firm commitment to Unite and her workforce that she would postpone any redundancies until we'd at least had a chance to meet via ACAS to resolve the issue, a meeting that she called for.

"This employer didn't even have the decency to tell some of her workers before going to the press."