Wetherspoons boss tells staff to work at Tesco amid pay delay
26 Mars, 2020, 06:34 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
"Tim Martin said in the video that staff who wanted to work for Tesco should do so and they will be given first priority when Wetherspoon pubs reopen".
The boss of pub chain JD Wetherspoon has reversed a decision to withhold staff pay until a government rescue package kicks in, following a major backlash from the public.
The founder said: "I've very sorry about the situation that's occurred with our pubs".
"I know that nearly all our trade now has gone to supermarkets", he says in the video. Not only our trade, but the trade from cafés, leisure centres, restaurants etc.
"We've had lots of calls from supermarkets, Tesco alone want to recruit more than 20,000 people - more than half the number of people who work at our pubs", he added.
'If I'm honest, I could say you can get the furlough payments and stay at home, ' he added.
He said: "If you're offered a job at a supermarket, many of you will want to do that".
"If you think it's a good idea, do it, I can completely understand it". But, I understand their message. If you've worked for us before I promise we will give you first preference if you want to come back.
The U-turn came after Mr Martin told staff they would not be paid until the start of a Government programme which will cover 80pc of the salaries for workers who have been temporarily laid off.
In a statement, Ian Hodson, president of the BFAWU, said: "He is ignoring the advice of the Government to stand by your workers and instead abandoning them in their time of need".
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"They need to pay rent, buy food and, because of the low wages he's always paid them, will not have savings to depend upon".
"They are doing it to get noticed and hopefully the government will step in to pay them for their work".
"I feel so let down and so, so scared".
"If bosses disregard employees' well-being then Government should take tougher action to force compliance".
A JD Wetherspoon spokesman said the pub's stance had been completely misinterpreted.
"Wetherspoon sent a video by the chairman Tim Martin, a letter from CEO John Hutson and other information to all employees".
Mr Martin said the pub chain's 43,000 workers will be paid on Friday for the hours they put in last week.
After that, it will use the "furlough" scheme, which pays 80% of wages, up to a cap of £2,500 per month.
"As we understand it, tens of thousands of hospitality workers and others have already lost their jobs, but Wetherspoon is retaining all its employees, using the government scheme for the goal for which it is intended".
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