Towards the end of March immediately following lockdown, JD Wetherspoons made some hasty decisions.
The first was to let 43,000 workers go unpaid until the company had first received financial support from the government. Then in a video address to workers adding insult to injury, JD Wetherspoons Chairman Tim Martin suggested that the pub group’s 43,000 workers should go and seek alternative work at supermarkets.
The second was to send an email to all JD Wetherspoons trade suppliers telling them that until pubs were reopened their invoices would not be paid.
The public outrage from both actions led to Rachel Reeves, Chair of the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee, on behalf of over 100 MP’s write to JD Wetherspoons Chairman, Tim Martin to question the company’s behaviour. Unions and trade bodies also voiced their concerns at the time. Some disenchanted ex-employees took out their frustration at the treatment by vandalising JD Wetherspoons pubs.
Yesterday’s announcement by the Government to reopen hospitality businesses across England on 4th July was met with widespread celebrations across hospitality. After more than three months of being closed it was a moment to savour.
It seems that hasty decisions, that certainly courted and received huge amounts of media coverage at the time, have been remembered by many.
It will be interesting to see if JD Wetherspoons will be celebrating 4th July.
Will Wetherspoons celebrate reopening – 24th June 2020 – Will Wetherspoons celebrate reopening