London strike pub ‘pleased’ to move forward

By Emily Hawkins contact

- Last updated on GMT

Strike is over: staff at the Ivy House pub will be offered fixed-hours contracts (image: Julian Osley, Geograph)
Strike is over: staff at the Ivy House pub will be offered fixed-hours contracts (image: Julian Osley, Geograph)

Related tags: Pub, London

A south London pub said it was pleased to be moving forward with new contracts after workers' three days of strike action over zero-hours contracts.

Workers at the Ivy House pub, Nunhead, Southwark, took strike action​ against its use of zero-hours contracts for three days (30 September to 2 October).

The pub will move all non-permanent staff to fixed-hours contracts, after the dismissal of four members of staff. The employees were reinstated.

Back in business

A statement from the Ivy House management committee confirmed an agreement was reached on Tuesday 2 October. The pub started trading again that evening.

It continued: “We are committed to reviewing our employment practices to help foster a strong and productive working relationship that reflects ​both our community values and our need to be a profitable business.”

The Ivy House was the first pub in the UK to be listed as an asset of community value, and the first building to be bought under the new "community right to bid" provisions of the Localism Act.

In a tweet,​ the striking workers declared success: “Victory for the workers! If you strike you will win!

“We are all going back to work with fixed-hours contracts, full union recognition and the four sacked workers are reinstated with backdated pay!”

The pub said it was happy to work towards recognition of the Bakers, Food and Allied Workers Union (BFAWU).

Financially viable

New contracts will ensure the business remains financially viable, the management committee said.

The Ivy House management committee said the pub always offered fixed-hours contracts to staff who wanted them but now all non-permanent staff will be employed on a form of fixed-hours contract that formalises the minimum number of shifts offered.

The shifts will be negotiated according to each individual's availability and will aim to reflect staff's expectations of hours.

Full disciplinary proceedings will be available to the staff who move between contracts.

The committee explained: “We recognise that ​this process is an important aspect of fair working relationships and we also recognise the distress caused to the staff concerned, who have been reinstated ​pending fresh disciplinary procedures during which they will have an opportunity to respond to the issues we identified.”

It was also agreed staff would not strike without a notice period in future, in order to prevent the pub from substantial financial damage.

The strike occurred days before JD Wetherspoon workers at two pubs in Brighton took unprecedented ​ strike action over wages and joined other hospitality workers at a rally in London. 

Related topics: Legislation

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