Staff members from the Post and Telegraph and the Bright Helm pubs took strike action in October. At a London rally, workers called for a £10 per hour wage and union recognition.
The pubco announced it was introducing a company-wide pay rise in its November trading update. In addition to a national pay increase of 20p per hour, the Brighton pubs were re-banded and their staff will now earn an additional 40p per hour.
Brighton pub staff called this raise, and the additional increase, a win for the first workers to take industrial action at the pubco.
Their action resulted in “bullying managers” being held to account and workers encouraged “to create the change they feel they deserve” at the company, the union representing the employees said.
The Bakers and Allied Food Workers Union (BFAWU) said the actions of staff had benefited both themselves and workers across the chain.
Impact of organising
Victoria Jordan, a shift leader at the Post and Telegraph, said: “Managers told us we have no support, that we would be ignored and quickly forgotten about – but we proved them wrong.
She added: “If two pubs in the company can create this much change, imagine what we will achieve as we grow. We are already winning.”
Chris Heppell, kitchen team leader at the Post and Telegraph said the teams would continue to build its union, and will campaign for “every Wetherspoon worker in the country to be paid a wage we can thrive on”.
“By organising into a trade union we’ve improved our pubs, won a substantial pay rise for Brighton and changed things we couldn’t have changed alone. We’ve made the company listen to us and take action,” he said.
Elsie Bradley Middle, a bar associate at the Post and Telegraph said the pay rise proved that “organising really does work”.
She added: “On top of the company-wide increase, we’ve won an additional 40p pay rise for all Brighton pubs. If we can achieve that with just two Brighton pubs striking imagine what we can do when we continue to build and show our strength.
JD Wetherspoon did not wish to comment on the pay rise but said claims of bullying managers were nothing it recognised. Members of staff should report any bullying to the company to be investigated, a spokesperson explained.
A campaign to raise wages to a minimum of £10 per hour is still ongoing. Employees said they would also continue to fight for equal wages for all ages, security of hours and for union recognition.