Union activists target venues run by Stefan King’s G1 Group in Glasgow’s popular Ashton Lane.

Entertainment tycoon Stefan King doesn't pay the minimum wage

Entertainment tycoon Stefan King doesn’t pay the minimum wage

Union activists from the Better Than Zero campaign and the Bakers’ Union (BFAWU) staged a dramatic flash mob outside a popular night time venue in Glasgow’s Ashton Lane yesterday evening.

The activists targeted the notorious G1 entertainment group, which has several venues in Ashton Lane, including the Grosvenor Cinema and cafe, and The Lane bar.

Activists entered the venues and settled down with a drink while a band set up in the lane outside. As the band started playing union songs, banners where unfurled and between 40 and 50 people walked out of the venues and joined the singing.

The event was lighthearted and non-confrontational, but G1 Group called the police, who arrived on horseback. By this time the flash mob had dispersed, after handing leaflets to passersby.

Better Than Zero is a campaign by the Scottish Trade Union Congress to tackle low wages, zero hour contracts and poor conditions in the retail and entertainment industry. The STUC has set up a helpline that young workers can call for advice.

The Bakers’ Union last year launched a campaign called Hungry for Justice, focusing on organising the fast food industry. BFAWU activists took part in the Fast Food Global day of action against fast food companies earlier this year.

G1 Group, owned by Stefan King, are a trendy entertainment chain, with popular pubs, restaurants and other venues. The group is notorious for stunts such as putting two way mirrors in women’s bathrooms and charging punters to spy on them.

Better Than Zero in solidarity with Ritzy Living Wage

Better Than Zero in solidarity with Ritzy Living Wage

However King’s group has also failed to pay the national minimum wage to more than 3,000 staff.

Staff at G1 venues tell, on condition of anonymity, of a climate of intimidation and fear that makes it very hard to speak out against injustices.

Activists also hung a banner from the Grosvenor Cinema, in solidarity with workers from the Ritzy Cinema in Brixton, London, who are fighting for a living wage through their union BECTU.

Watch the video

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Walton Pantland

South African trade unionist living in Glasgow. Loves whisky, wine, running and the great outdoors. Walton did an MA in Industrial Relations at Ruskin, Oxford, and is interested in how trade unions use new technology to organise.

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