Win! Wetherspoons performs U-turn and agrees to pay staff

Wetherspoons has performed a U-turn and agreed to pay ‘furloughed’ staff before receiving funds from the government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

The surprise – but welcome – decision was made after a session of the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee, chaired by MP Rachel Reeves.

The company came under huge pressure after the story broke yesterday, and under further pressure today when more than 90 MPs wrote a letter to boss Tim Martin demanding he changed his mind.

After the decision, MP Jo Stevens tweeted: “Wetherspoons have u-turned on decision not to pay 43,000 staff while pubs are shut. Staff to be paid on April 3 and weekly after that. Good news, but people won’t forget political pressure forced your hand Tim Martin.”

BFAWU Branch 101 Secretary and Wetherspoon’s worker Alex MacIntyre said: “Wetherspoon’s U-turn is welcome. We should never have had to wait till the end of April to be paid. We’re still waiting for confirmation that we’ll be paid 100% of our wages as this is not yet clear. Even on 100% of our wages we struggle to get by because they’re so low.

“Nobody should have to worry about paying bills, rent or buying food when they work for such a profitable company.  Instead the company has cruelly caused enormous stress and anxiety to its 40,000+ employees. This was an active decision by the company in the midst of a crisis that is affecting the entire world.

“It is only by coming together to support each other that we can make sure it is not workers who suffer whilst our employers look after their profits. We will not forget this abandonment by the company of its workers. There’s power in a union. Solidarity”

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