STAFF from 13 bars across Glasgow and Dundee have accused bosses of “systemic mistreatment” during the pandemic and “neglecting” to inform staff of positive Covid cases in their venues.

Hospitality staff from venues including Abandon Ship Bar, in both Glasgow and Dundee, The Luchador in Glasgow’s southside, the Bird & Bear in Dundee, and Gracies in Broughty Ferry, have launched a collective grievance against the hospitality group MacMerry300.

They cite a host of health and safety concerns relating to the pandemic, and also claim there have been issues regarding sick pay and holiday pay.

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Some of the venues are co-owned by Abandon Ship, also a clothing firm, but MacMerry300 is involved in all 13.

MacMerry denied the allegations and claimed they were only made aware of them when trade union Unite Hospitality posted details on social media.

The collective grievance, published on Twitter by Unite, claimed that the company neglected to tell them about potential close contacts testing positive and allegedly put pressure on those awaiting PCR results to come into work.

The grievance continued: “Staff members who know they are close contacts with positive colleagues are being told to come in to work until they are contacted by NHS track and trace, thereby knowingly putting other staff and customers at risk through none of their own choosing.

“A refusal to do this was met with threats of disciplinary action.”

Staff also alleged they felt uncomfortable attending work during an “active outbreak” but were threatened with disciplinary action, and that management didn’t provide guidance on lateral flow testing, hygiene, cleaning or social distancing measures.

There were also a number of claims relating to pay, contracts, hours worked and breaks, suggesting staff had not been given sick or holiday pay, and on some occasions not paid on time.

The grievance reads: “There is a lack of follow through and/or communication with management about wages and/or holiday/sick pay.”

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It was claimed that the company was completely unaware of the allegations until they were contacted by the media.

The National:

Abandon Ship owner Richard Davies at the Glasgow bar in Mitchell Street

A spokesperson for MacMerry300 said: “Hospitality is a highly regulated industry where staff and customer safety is paramount.

“We first learned of any alleged issues today and are amazed that Unite took first to social media rather than raising any concerns with our management team. We would also point out that some of the reported complainers have not worked with us for over two years.

“We utterly refute the claims made and will be consulting with staff immediately to find out why allegations may have been levelled. We are of course also willing to discuss any genuine grievances or concerns. “

Full list of bars involved in the collective grievance


Bird and Bear, Whitehall Crescent.

Abandon Ship Bar, Mitchell Street.

Nola, Union Street.

King of Islington, Union Street.

Franks, Nethergate Blue Room, Nethergate Draffens.

Broughty Ferry

Gracie’s, Brook Street


The Bull, Great Western Road

Fly south, Lynedoch Street

The Luchador, Pollokshaws Road

Mr Lincoln, Pollokshaws Road

Abandon Ship Glasgow, Mitchell Street