THE Scottish beer giant BrewDog has issued a response after staff accused bosses of presiding over a culture of bullying, poor working conditions, and health and safety breaches.

Earlier this week trade union Unite sent a letter the new BrewDog CEO James Arrow detailing the concerns of staff.

It was signed by 69 employees across 11 venues, including seven from the chain’s Union Square bar in Aberdeen.

A spokesperson for Unite told The Press and Journal: “The way in which our members across BrewDog have been treated is morally reprehensible and almost certainly illegal.

“We have been shown evidence of shocking health-and-safety breaches, which have put workers and customers at serious risk of harm.

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“It is one of the worst examples of systemic bullying and toxic culture from management we have ever come across.

“When workers tried to challenge these awful conditions, they were victimised and in some cases sacked.

“Workers across BrewDog have had enough and they’re collectively challenging these pay and conditions through their union.

“We will be doing everything in our power legally and industrially to support them.”

It comes after a member of BrewDog staff at the company’s flagship bar in Waterloo, London was sacked after raising concerns about members of the far-right English Defence League (EDL) using the bar to hold a meeting on St George’s Day in April.

The woman, who is Asian, reportedly alerted her manager to the meeting but was later accused of “aggressive behaviour and use of inappropriate language” necessitating her dismissal.

It’s understood that while the EDL did not make a booking at the bar, BrewDog had been informed by police that the group were likely to be in the area.

Police encouraged bosses not to close the venue and said officers would be present.

However, the woman alleges that staff members were not informed of this and that the shock contributed towards her behaviour. 

Now, in a letter sent to staff and posted on social media by Unite, CEO James Arrow acknowledged the controversies surrounding both the letter and the dismissal of the Waterloo employee.

“Listening to our people is one of the most important ways we can shape our business,” he said.

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“We will only achieve our ambitions with the support of a happy, motivated and engaged crew.

“I remain focussed on making BrewDog an even better place to work and the Leadership team and I are always open and eager to listen.

“I also wanted to address the articles you may have read about the dismissal of a crew member at Waterloo.

“On the morning of St George’s Day, the Waterloo team was contacted by the Police, along with bar operators throughout central London.

“They told us that a rally was expected that day, that all venues should remain open so as to preserve public order, and that any protestors attending the bar would be escorted by police.

“The last thing we would with is for any crew member to feel uncomfortable or intimidated.

“However, there are standards of behaviour we expect and in this case, there was a clear and unacceptable breach of our code of conduct, and we took the appropriate action.”

Earlier this year, BrewDog announced that it would no longer be paying the Real Living Wage to new employees.