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09.08.2022 / News /

Brighton workers suspend strike as pub bosses sit down to talk

“This shows the power we have as a united working class and that together we can improve our conditions within hospitality and beyond.”

Jake, unjustly sacked SJT strike leader and UVW member

The workers at the SJT pub in Brighton have temporarily suspended their strike action as a gesture of goodwill as talks with the leaseholders take place with the mediation of ACAS.

They had planned to be on strike for 20 days in July and August, including the weekends of Brighton Pride and the August Bank Holiday, as part of their fight for better terms and conditions and demand for respect in the workplace. 

The workers are demanding an end to zero-hours contracts, a minimum pay rise for all bar staff to £11.50 per hour, a full sick pay scheme, a security response team on site and voluntary union recognition. Also, reinstatement of workers sacked or suspended since strike action began.

Hundreds of supporters from the Brighton local community and the wider union movement joined their first two vibrant strike rallies, including local MP Lloyd Russell-Moyle, as well as Labour and Green Party councillors. Hundreds have emailed the landlords demanding justice.

Their first two peaceful and joyful pickets were met with physical assaults and the unjust sacking of strike leader Jake, who’s applied for interim relief. Other striking workers were also suspended. 

The striking workers welcome the long-overdue talks Jake, the unjustly sacked SJT striker said “After months of action the leaseholders of the SJT have finally come forward for negotiations. This shows the power we have as a united working class and that together we can improve our conditions within hospitality and beyond.” His colleague, Tris, added:  “Victoria and Zak, the owners of the Saint James Tavern, have finally decided to sit down and negotiate with us. After months of what felt like belittling, assaults and unjust dismissals, in what can be described only as a moment of mental clarity, they have reached out to discuss our demands”

UVW’s union organiser Kate Flood praised the worker’s resolve. Flood said: “Industrial action has been suspended in good faith, and if bosses concede to the very reasonable demands of the workers – reinstatement, fair wages, and job security – we will be able to bring this needlessly protracted dispute to an end. It is testament to the will of these workers, the strength of their support, and the power of the picket line, that they have not wavered in this fight and we hope that bosses will do the right thing and deliver on demands once we begin talks this week.”

Their vibrant pickets will resume if talks do not succeed. 

Join the action group here for updates on their campaign.

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