We are Wetherspoon workers and supporters who are disgusted by the way that the company’s founder and chairman, Tim Martin, is exploiting his position to promote an extremely damaging no deal Brexit through pubs up and down the country.
Martin routinely labels Remain supporters the ‘metropolitan elite’; yet he himself is an incredibly wealthy man, accruing a tidy net wealth of almost £500m in no small part by paying his staff poverty wages. In a recent interview with Owen Jones, he was ‘offended’ when this was pointed out and dismissed concerns about low pay and difficult working conditions as ‘childish’.
To add insult, he forces staff members to distribute propaganda in favour of a hard Brexit - something which would drive down our working conditions and living standards even further. More or less any Brexit currently on offer will see an end to freedom of movement and the rights of EU working class people, including many of those who keeps Wetherspoon running, to travel freely, and it will almost certainly lead to thousands of EU nationals being refused the right to settled status here.
We refuse to propagandise for politics that will only do us harm if enacted. Studies have consistently refuted claims that immigration is linked to low wages. Migrants don’t drive down wages; but wealthy, exploitative bosses like Tim Martin do.
Our demands to JD Wetherspoon are simple:
1. Withdraw all pro-Brexit propaganda from our workplace. This means that we will no longer be marked down for refusing to distribute beer mats, leaflets, magazines or menus that promote Martin’s politics.
2. Pay us a Living Wage. That means a £9 hourly rate outside London, and £10.55 in London.
3. Trade union recognition, granting the Bakers, Food and Allied Workers Union negotiating powers over our pay and pay and working conditions.
We are opposed to Brexit in its entirety and we support allowing the free movement of people so that everyone, regardless of nationality, has the right to live and work here.
With your help, we will purchase campaign materials (leaflets, stickers etc) as well as travel expenses to help us organise a national grassroots campaign. Thank you!