Jamie's Italian workers speak out to win justice following celeb chef's restaurant chain's collapse

Former staff at Jamie’s Italian restaurant chain in Scotland are speaking out about being made redundant last month with only half an hour's notice despite previous assurances from senior managers that all was well at the business.

Published 5th Jun 2019
Updated 5 th Jun 2019

In the video, issued by Unite Scotland which now represents around 60 per cent of the former workforce in Scotland, you can see the distress and confusion among the former workforce.

They are now being supported by the union in legal efforts to gain redundancy payments, unpaid wages, and outstanding holiday pay, all of which are still owed to staff.

With the ex-Jamie's workers left tens of thousands of pounds out of pocket between them, Unite is also campaigning to change the law to ensure that protective awards will be automatically granted to workers who have not received statutory notice under Section 86 of the Employment Rights Act so averting lengthy court proceedings in order to secure their compensation.

Praising the workers for speaking up, Bryan Simpson, Unite Scotland Hospitality Coordinator said: “These heartbreaking and angering stories from our members at Jamie’s Italian really highlight that there is a serious problem in the hospitality industry for workers.

"These workers devoted themselves to making this business a success, absorbing all the cost cutting and pressures from above, but when it came down to it were treated appallingly by Jamie's."

Mr Simpson added that in speaking up, they are "shining a light" on an increasingly unstable sector where it is the workers on the restaurant floor who "pay the heaviest price for boardroom mistakes".

He added: “Not only do we intend to reclaim what this group of workers is owed, but we will fight for the law to be changed so that no worker should have to face these injustices in the future.

"The existing law is entirely inadequate when it comes to protecting workers' wages when a business goes to the wall. It is high time that the law was amended to deliver justice for working people. For now the power to make this change rests at Westminster, another reason why we need employment law to be devolved.

“The Unite hospitality branches are only in their infancy, but we hope to set up a network for workers in the sector to empower them, and that this video can help others see the power of coming together in a union. Our message to workers is that long after your boss has walked away, Unite carries on fighting for you."

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Mr Simpson added that anyone who has been impacted by the closure of Jamie’s Italian Limited and would like to join the legal action should contact him at Bryan.Simpson@unitetheunion.org.

Frankie & Benny’s offers guaranteed interviews for all 1,000 former staff from Jamie’s Italian

Driven by a passion for all things drinks-related, Sean writes for The Scotsman extensively on the subject. He can also sometimes be found behind the bar at the world famous Potstill bar in Glasgow where he continues to enhance his whisky knowledge built up over 10 years advising customers from all over the world on the wonders of our national drink. Recently, his first book was published. Dubbed Gin Galore, it explores Scotland's best gins and the stories behind those that make them.
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