Scottish-based bar group accused of 'systemic mistreatment' in collective grievance from workers

pub & bar

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

Scottish-based bar group MacMerry 300 hit with mass grievance from workers over 'health and safety failures'

Related tags: Unite union, Pub & bar, Abandon Ship

The owners of Scottish-based bar and restaurant brands MacMerry 300 and Abandon Ship have been accused of 'systemic mistreatment' in a collective grievance signed by both current and former staff.

Unite the Union has compiled a seven-page complaint that was released last Friday (7 January) and includes allegations that the company neglected to inform staff about potential close contacts with those testing positive for Covid-19; and that staff awaiting PCR test results were expected or felt pressured to come to work until their results were official.

In a statement, a spokesperson for MacMerry 300 described the list of complaints as 'frankly bewildering' and said no member of staff, nor Unite the union, brought any grievances to the senior management team before releasing the grievance publicly.

The group runs 13 bars and restaurants across Dundee and Glasgow including The Luchador, Bird & Bear, Draffens, The Bull, Fly South and Franks.

Unite has said the collective grievance, which also includes claims of an erratic payroll and irregularities in pension contributions and submissions to HMRC, was signed by 58 current employees and 13 people who previously worked for the group.

The union has called for a full investigation into the allegations raised and demanded that all pay owed to past and present employees is paid by the company.

A spokesperson for MacMerry 300 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 the 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.” 

In a statement to The Glasgow Guardian​ ​published over the weekend, Unite 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."

MacMerry 300 was set up by AJ McMenemy and Phil Donaldson in 2010. 

Last month the group announced it is preparing to bring its Abandon Ship brand to Covent Garden this year​ as part of its plans to expand the concept across the UK.

Related topics: Pub & Bar, Business & Legislation

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