Scots pub chain MacMerry Covent Garden venue hit by protest as campaign against ‘appalling’ staff treatment grows
- Wednesday 9 March 2022
Protestors demonstrated outside Scottish pub chain MacMerry’s flagship central London pub today (Wednesday 9 March), as the campaign against the company’s ‘appalling’ treatment of staff intensified.
Members from Unite, the UK’s leading union, were joined by a Los Angeles delegation from the US Unite Here union to demonstrate outside the Abandon Ship pub in Covent Garden (pictures available on request).
The protest was over a litany of grievances by staff at MacMerry and Abandon Ship venues in Glasgow and Dundee, including managers ignoring sexual misconduct allegations and serious health and safety concerns.
Staff have also accused the company of pay irregularities and victimising individuals because they are trade union members.
Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “It is great to see solidarity between Unite members and US union, Unite Here, joining together to fight MacMerry’s failure to protect its workers.
“MacMerry claims to be acting upon their workers’ very serious grievances, but these are empty words – in fact, things are getting worse for the workforce as MacMerry is now targeting Unite members for standing up in support of one another.
“MacMerry’s appalling behaviour has left the company’s reputation in tatters. Things will not improve until the company works with Unite to address its appalling treatment of staff.”
Unite has submitted a seven-page grievance document to MacMerry, which runs 13 bars and restaurants across Glasgow and Dundee, signed by 58 current staff and 13 former employees.
The grievance document accuses MacMerry of "the mistreatment of workers across all venues" as well as failing to abide by “the most basic legal obligations of duty of care towards staff”.
Unite hospitality organiser Bryan Simpson said: “Two months after a shocking grievance signed by the majority of staff across 13 venues, workers and their union have seen little to no action to address their serious concerns.
“MacMerry’s Covent Garden customers deserve to know how the company is behaving: First the company treated its staff very badly, then it made veiled threats that staff protests in Dundee could result in job losses. After that it went back on public promises to resolve these serious issues and has since started targeting union members."