Workers at The 13th Note in Glasgow win employment tribunal

The former workers of a Glasgow music venue have won an employment tribunal nine months after its closure.

The 13th Note called in liquidators last July after staff began a series of strikes citing issues with contracts, health and safety, and rodent infestation.

At the time, the owner said the business had been "driven to insolvency" by union action.

But a judge has now ruled that the firm broke trade union laws after it proposed dismissing more than 20 employees with less than 90 days' notice.

Javacrest Ltd, run by Jaqueline Fennessy, failed to elect and consult with employee representatives on the redundancy process, the employment judge found.

Javacrest Ltd, which is in liquidation, has now been ordered to pay the ex-employees 90 days' worth of wages.

The workers hope to take over the venue's lease from Glasgow City Council and reopen it under new ownership.

Nick Troy, lead Unite representative at The 13th Note, said: "We unionised to win a fairer and safer workplace at The 13th Note but our employer did everything it could to stop us, including closing our workplace.

"When it came to sacking us, the company didn't even have the decency to inform us first - issuing a press release to the media before telling the workers that they had lost their jobs.

"With justice served, we can now turn our focus to taking the venue back into workers' hands so that Glasgow has a unionised bar and music venue that pays and treats its workers with respect."

Days after the first 48-hour strike was held over the weekend of 14-16 July 2023, owner Ms Fennessy announced the closure of the business after 21 years.

It was the first bar workers' strike in Scotland in more than 20 years and coincided with the busy Glasgow Fair public holiday.

The industrial action was set to continue every weekend until 6 August 2023.

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Ms Fennessy claimed she was forced to permanently shut the venue down due to a "drastic reduction in revenue" as a result of Unite Hospitality's involvement.

She added that claims of serious health and safety issues were "simply not true". However, the bar was closed for a short spell by environmental health due to a mouse infestation.

Bryan Simpson, Unite's lead organiser for the hospitality sector, said: "Let this serve as a warning to unscrupulous hospitality employers everywhere; your workers will win justice and Unite will have their back."

Ms Fennessy has been contacted for comment.