“I’m ecstatic by the decision from the court to grant my interim relief! It’s a huge win for the UVW members of the Saint James Tavern and the labour movement across the hospitality sector.”Jake Marvin, sacked UVW strike leader and former bar manager
A judge ordered pub bosses at Saint James Tavern (SJT) in Brighton to pay wages to a United Voices of the World (UVW) strike leader, who was abruptly sacked allegedly for his union activities. And they will have to pay wages until there is a final hearing on his dismissal, which could be in a year or so.
Former bar manager and UVW member Jake Marvin applied to the Employment Tribunal in early July for interim relief following his abrupt sacking just days after the workers’ first picket line on June 25. Interim relief is when a boss is ordered to reinstate or pay a worker until a final hearing on unfair dismissal. This could be in a year or so.
“I’m ecstatic by the decision from the court to grant my interim relief! It’s a huge win for the UVW members of the SJT and the labour movement across the hospitality sector.” Jake told us. “I think that having to pay me my salary until the final hearing is a strong indication of the validity of my case; that, as I believe, I was unjustly sacked because of my union activities. I look forward to facing my former employers in court on this matter.”
The judge heard evidence that Jake was believed to have been sacked for building the union in his workplace. Evidence included a leaked Whatsapp message from the pub landlady, Victoria, that his sacking was planned weeks in advance of the strike or disciplinary hearings. Pub landlord Zach also openly admitted to the local member of parliament for Brighton, Kemptown, Lloyd Russell-Moyers, that he would sack any workers who took part in union activities. MP Moyers told us “The landlords are out of control”.
The judge concluded Marvin was dismissed for his trade union activities and not for the official reasons, believed to be false pretext.
The SJT pub bosses had claimed Jake had failed to deliver on their job requests and set up what seemed like a farcical disciplinary process during which he was summarily sacked days after the first strike picket. But UVW presented compelling arguments aiming to demonstrate that the bosses are belligerently anti-union and were bent on getting rid of any workers organising in the workplace. The SJT workers had voted unanimously to go on strike after months of failed attempts to negotiate with their bosses better terms and conditions, including a basic pay rise, health and safety measures and union recognition.
Petros Elia, general secretary for UVW, said after the hearing: “This win is not just a lesson to St James Tavern bosses, but to all bosses out there, that we’ll never let you get away with victimising any of our members and if you try we will fight back and we will beat you. Next time, don’t even bother trying.”
UVW is proud to have won interim relief for several members in the past including recycling plant workers and warehouse workers in its continuous fight against vicious union busting.
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