Solidarity with the staff at the Walrus Pub in Brighton
The London IWW is happy to have made a donation of £100 to the staff of the Walrus Pub in Brighton.
As many will be aware, Brighton’s Walrus pub became infamous when a worker, Rachael Baylis, went public that bosses had sacked her after she refused to come in to work with COVID symptoms. Rachel later tested positive for COVID, demonstrating both her commitment to the health and safety of her colleagues and her managers’ utter lack of respect for staff, customers, and the law.
As a union that has been active in pubs and restaurants during the pandemic, we know all too well that Raechel’s experience was not an anomaly. Hospitality staff are routinely treated as expendable. Given contracts that keep employees in perpetual precarity, workers are expected to sacrifice their own health and safety in the name of company profit. In fighting back in such a public way, Rachael has shown that bosses are not invincible. When we stand up and stand together, we have a voice.
Rachael has set up a crowdfunder to support her colleagues in case the negative publicity the pub rightfully received impacts their financial situation. If you can spare it, we urge our members and friends to make a donation. Solidarity is what keeps the movement alive:
walrus-staff-fund?utm_ campaign=p_cf+share-flow-1& utm_medium=social&utm_source= twitter
If you’re ever in a similar situation to Rachael, we remind you that you have a right to refuse work if you believe it makes you, your colleagues, or the general public unsafe. But it’s not a step to be taken lightly and we wouldn’t recommend doing it without union support. For a good run-down of your ‘section 44’ rights in relation to COVID, here’s a great explainer from our friends at the United Voice of the World:
As always, if you live in London and you’re facing any problems at work, the IWW has got your back. london [at] iww [dot] org [dot] uk to speak to a union rep.