Judge orders Brighton pub to pay wages to sacked UVW strike leader

UVW Saint James Tavern campaign

Former bar manager at Stonegate-leased Brighton pub Saint James Tavern (SJT) and UVW member Jake Marvin applied to the Employment Tribunal in early July for interim relief following his summary sacking just days after the pub workers’ first picket line on June 25.

The judge heard evidence that pub manager and UVW member Jake Marvin was believed to have been sacked for building the union in his workplace. Evidence included a leaked Whatsapp message from the pub landlady, Victoria, that his sacking was planned weeks in advance of the strike or disciplinary hearings. The violent pub landlord Zach also openly admitted to the local member of parliament for Brighton, Kemptown, Lloyd Russell-Moyers, that he would sack any workers who took part in union activities. MP Moyers told us “The landlords are out of control”.

Jake Marvin said: “I’m ecstatic by the decision from the court to grant my interim relief! It’s a huge win for the UVW members of the SJT and the labour movement across the hospitality sector. I think that having to pay me my salary until the final hearing is a strong indication of the validity of my case; that, as I believe, I was unjustly sacked because of my union activities. I look forward to facing my former employers in court on this matter.”

The judge concluded Marvin was dismissed for his trade union activities and not for the official reasons, believed to be a false pretext.

The SJT pub bosses had claimed Jake had failed to deliver on their job requests and set up what seemed like a farcical disciplinary process during which he was summarily sacked days after the first strike picket.  But UVW presented compelling arguments aiming to demonstrate that the bosses are belligerently anti-union and were bent on getting rid of any workers organising in the workplace. The SJT workers had voted unanimously to go on strike after months of failed attempts to negotiate with their bosses better terms and conditions, including a basic pay rise, health and safety measures and union recognition.

Image: picket outside Saint James Tavern in June 2022. Jake Marvin is standing in the middle. Credit: UVW.