STRIKING workers from a Glasgow bar have said they hope they can “inspire” other hospitality workers to fight for better pay and conditions.

Staff at the 13th Note staged their first 48-hour walkout on Friday from the Merchant City venue supported by Unite the union.

The union represents 95% of workers in the venue, and the 48-hour shut downs will continue each weekend until August 6, until their demands are met.

READ MORE: Angus MacNeil suspended from the SNP after Westminster group row

Some speakers at the picket line outside the venue on Friday suggested that if there was no movement from owner Jacqueline Fennessy on their demands, they would look to “take back the venue”.

We previously told how Unite claimed the industrial action by bar staff was the first in the country in 20 years.

@scotnational Workers at this Glasgow bar are the first in the country to take strike action in 20 years, according to their trade union! Solidarity with #the13thnoteglasgow staff...#scotland #fyp #strikes #joinaunion ♬ original sound - The National

Nick Troy, a chef at the 13th Note and union member, previously told our sister title the Glasgow Times that he and other kitchen colleagues were forced to walk out of the venue in June amid fears they could be seriously hurt.

Unite's lead union rep at the venue told how the front wheel on a 180kg industrial fridge snapped after a shelf collapsed and tumbled from a wall at the venue, an incident cited by staff as the final straw.

Speaking to The National on the picket line, Troy said: “We’re arguing for a safer workplace, fair pay, the real living wage and some proper contracts and trade union recognition alongside all the health and safety and understaffing concerns.”

The National:

Troy said that staff had been in negotiations on “several occasions” and have seen some improvement, such as uplifting pay for some workers from £6.53 an hour to the basic minimum wage for over 23-year-olds.

A new oven was installed after health and safety concerns were raised, and Troy added that a gender pay gap between some roles has been closed.

“But we still have major, major issues that the owner is refusing to budge on, and has been openly dishonest about,” he said.

​READ MORE: Scottish independence: Paper reveals 'sheer scale' of growth opportunity

Troy referenced a mice infestation in the venue, and claimed staff had been met with “chronic dishonesty” and a refusal by management to meet to discuss contracts.

While Troy said he hoped that the action would “help other hospitality workers”, he noted other incidents in Glasgow venues that had happened previously.

In March, three staff at the Saramago Bar in the Centre for Contemporary Arts (CCA) were sacked mid-shift after they joined the union Industrial Workers of the World (IWW).

The National:

“So we are by no means the first but hopefully we can bring a level of success that will inspire the rest of the movement,” Troy added.

One Unite speaker at the picket line suggested that if the owner reneges on upcoming talks or fires a “single member of staff”, there would be a backlash.

“Not only will there be legal repercussions, but we will be making sure that we take back that venue,” the said.

​READ MORE: Alister Jack: Scottish drug decriminalisation calls 'manufacture grievance'

“If she can close the venue, as a nuclear reaction to what is a legitimate, legal strike, then the only option left to our members and the workers of 13th note who make up 95% of the workforce is to take that back.

“We’re now in discussion with Glasgow City Council to take back that venue, to get the lease.

“It doesn’t need to be that way, if she wants to work with us she can, but she isn’t just now.”

The National:

Scottish Labour MSP Richard Leonard, who joined the picket line in Glasgow, said that there is a “lot of exploitation” in the sector, but added that in his 40 years as a union member he couldn’t remember a strike taking place in a hospitality venue.

“I think there's going to have to be some movement by the owner," he said. 

“I mean, speakers who've taken part in the demonstration today to support the pickets, have made clear that one of the options has got to be if the owner is not prepared to run this establishment in a reasonable way, then consideration should be given to whether the workers should run it themselves.”

A meeting with ACAS, striking workers and the owners of the venue has been arranged for July 19 in a bid to find an end to the dispute.