Lawyers representing the G1 Group have conceded that their client acted in breach of its employees’ statutory rights when they refused staff the right to be represented by their chosen trade union representative after they were sacked from the Grosvenor Café in September 2017.
Following a dramatic week in the Employment Tribunal in Glasgow, G1 Group formally conceded that it breached Section 10 of the Employment Relations Act 1999 when the company failed to allow a member of staff to be represented by her trade union representative Bryan Simpson on the grounds that he represented a “significant threat to the safety of senior management”.
The syndicate of six Unite members will now pursue the company for wrongful and unfair dismissal. Michael Briggs of Thompsons Solicitors Scotland, representing the Claimants, has argued that the barworkers were refused their right to be represented by their trade union, denied contractual notice pay and unfairly dismissed when they were sacked last year.
The case is the first time that the G1 Group has been taken to full tribunal for unfair dismissal. This comes only three years after the group was fined £45,000 for failing to pay 2,895 staff the minimum wage. The GI Group was also forced to pay back £411,000 to Skills Development Scotland after “major financial irregularities” were found.
Bryan Simpson from Unite Hospitality said: “More than 10 months after they were sacked en masse without representation or notice pay, our members are finally receiving the justice they deserve. At the very highest levels of the organisation, the G1 Group sought to obstruct Unite from supporting its members at the Grosvenor.
"The company has admitted that it ignored mitigating circumstances and were under strict instruction to sack the staff regardless. We hope that the G1 Group will finally engage positively with Unite as the collective representation of staff across Scotland. We also hope that this case sends a strong message to hospitality workers across the country that they have a union in Unite which will fight for them relentlessly.”
Michael Briggs of Thompsons Solicitors Scotland said: “The claimants have had their day in court. While we are delighted that common sense prevailed in relation to the s.10 concession, the parts of the claimants that remain in dispute now in the hands of a very capable and experienced tribunal. We look forward to their findings and are confident that just decisions will be made. Further comment would not be appropriate at this time.”
Notes to editors
For further information contact Bryan Simpson on firstname.lastname@example.org or on 07891118390.
- Unite Scotland is the country’s biggest and most diverse trade union with 150,000 members across the economy. The union is led in Scotland by Pat Rafferty.