A number of JD Wetherspoon staff have joined a campaign calling for double pay for those working on bank holidays.
More than 50,000 people have signed a petition open to customers, staff, and members of the public arguing that employees at the pub chain deserve extra wages for tough bank holiday shifts.
The group, led by worker-driven network Organise, is planning to print thousands of beer mats asking for double pay to take the message to boss Tim Martin "in the style he knows best".
Martin distributed almost two million pro-leave beer mats before the 2016 referendum and a further 500,000 supporting a no-deal Brexit in 2018.
One Wetherspoon employee in the Organise network, who wished to remain anonymous, said bank holidays were often the "worst days of the year" for hospitality with "many difficult customers".
Another team member added: "Every staff member dreads bank holidays – they're mentally draining. [The fact that they experience] crying, panic attacks and verbal and physical abuse just because customers have the bank holiday off should be a reason for bar/floor to be paid more... like everyone else working on a bank holiday.
"It's in the job description to deal with situations no one wants to be in when dealing with customers in a pub, but we at least deserve some compensation when dealing with the incredibly harsh conditions we're put under during a bank holiday."
Wetherspoon said in a statement that it reviews pay and benefits on a "regular basis" and recently extended the offer of free food to all pub employees while working. Staff also receive double pay on Christmas Day and 28 days' paid holiday per year.
The company said it has awarded 20.6m free shares to employees since 2003 and paid £46m in bonuses and shares to staff in 2019. At the end of May, 14,503 of its 37,529 employees had been awarded free shares.
Wetherspoon spokesperson Eddie Gershon added: "Employment packages need to be considered in the round. Wetherspoon believes that its overall package is competitive in the hospitality industry."
To view the petition, click here.
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