Labour Councillors at the St James Tavern staff strike
Labour Councillors at the St James Tavern staff strike

Following a written plea to the CEO of Stonegate by Labour Councillors, the company that owns the St James Tavern has agreed to begin an investigation into the conduct of the local landlords.

The striking bar staff at St James Tavern have the full backing of the Labour Group of Councillors on Brighton & Hove City Council.

Labour Councillors attended the strike over the weekend to show solidarity with workers calling for decent pay and conditions.

Since then, Labour Councillors Amanda Evans and Nick Childs have written to the company that owns the St James Tavern pub – Stonegate.

In their letter, the Labour Councillors stated increasing concerns about the escalating industrial dispute pertaining to a reasonable request by staff for the national living wage to be paid, the right to contractual sick pay and recognition for their trade union, the United Voice of the Workers. In addition, the staff have asked for security presence in this city-centre pub after several incidents, and for internal bullying, harassment and late payment of wages by the landlords to cease.

Cllrs Evans and Childs expressed deep concern that instead of engaging with staff and their union, the local landlords have seemingly embarked on an ‘unnecessary and unacceptable campaign of further bullying and intimidation of staff’, including physical threats and violence in the view of Labour Councillors during the strike action.

Cllr Evans and Childs told Stonegate that the behaviour of the local landlords was damaging to the reputation of the pub and the city, and that the approach taken must be in breach of Stonegate’s corporate values.

Labour’s Queens Park Councillors asked Stonegate to intervene, and informed them they had also formally complained to the Council’s licencing department regarding the ‘fit and proper’ qualifications of the local licence holders.

In welcome news, Stonegate have already responded and informed the Labour Group that the Managing Director for Stonegate Pub Partners has been instructed by the CEO to investigate this matter, and we look forward to hopefully working with Stonegate to ensure a swift resolution to the conflict can be brought about, including an assurance that the workers’ union will be recognised for the purposes of collective bargaining and that all threats, bullying and breaches of employment law will cease, and the landlords will agree to meet at ACAS.

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