Union flash mob campaigners target notorious entertainment group G1’s premium venue The Corinthian for some Christmas mischief.

G1Grinch

Campaigners inside the Corinthian. Photo by Jennifer McCarey.

On Saturday evening, Christmas diners at Glasgow’s lavish Corinthian bar, restaurant and casino in Glasgow were treated to a spontaneous Christmas choir who broke into song.

The choir of 30 mainly young people with experience of working in pubs and clubs in central Scotland formed a flashmob inside the venue, and were supported by a crowd of 60 outside.

They sang verse after verse of a song set to the tune of Winter Wonderland to make their plea:

“Pay your staff the living wage today”.

“The G1 Group is Glasgow’s largest commercial employer in this sector, and will be feeding Glaswegians more Christmas dinners than any other employer. Why can’t they spread a little Christmas cheer to the workforce?”, asked Sara Wiktorski, organiser of the Better than Zero campaign.

The G1 Group, owned by Stefan King, is notorious for its employment practices, and has been targeted by campaigners a number of times in the past few months. The campaigners are mainly young workers themselves caught in the trap of the hospitality industry practices of zero hour contracts, minimum wage pay and many other exploitative practices.

“It felt seriously unjust that we sometimes serve and always work for seriously rich people, in this swanky environment and they were paying us poverty pay”, said a former Corinthian employee.

Other former Corinthian staff said that earnings and hours of work were really unreliable, and that they would get sent home early if it was quiet, or do really long shifts if it was busy. Corinthian charged workers for their uniform, deducting the cost from their wages.

“You work long difficult hours, on minimum wage pay for companies that make millions, I hope that by taking part in today’s protest l can highlight to hospitality workers across Glasgow that your worth better than that”, said Ruby Hirsch, a 22 year old Glaswegian who has worked in bars and restaurants for over three years, and who took part in today’s protest.

“The Corinthian is the showpiece of the G1 Empire. Staff being paid minimum wage are working long, hard shifts serving the rich and famous of Glasgow.

“G1 have an opportunity to lead the way within the hospitality industry and implement the living wage for staff, this would have a transformational effect on their staff. Through G1’s buying power and sheer commercial clout, this would impact on potentially thousands of more workers in their supply chain. G1 say their hard working staff are their greatest asset – It’s time Stefan King put his money where his mouth is and paid his staff a wage they can live on.”

 


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Jennifer McCarey

Jennifer McCarey is a trade union activist from Glasgow.

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