JD Wetherspoon’s profits are falling and that’s not the only bad news for Tim Martin

Outside Wetherspoon pub
Peadar O'Cearnaigh

If Tim Martin thought repeated falling profits at JD Wetherspoon were his only problem, then he was in for a rude awakening.

Because, not for the first time, there’s a campaign to boycott his pub chain. The hashtag #BoycottWetherspoons started trending after Wetherspoon’s founder Tim Martin launched an attack on “elite Remainers”. So Martin might have to get used to falling profits.

 

Tim Martin

Unlike the vast majority of UK companies, Tim Martin believes in the benefits of leaving the EU without a deal. This might well be why he railed against Remainers. But as well as his association with no-deal, many associate him and his pub chain with zero-hours contracts and the ‘gig economy‘.

This is an economy where people work on low wages, their employment is insecure, and they have no real employment protection. Many of Martin’s staff fit into this category as they don’t receive a “real living wage”. Other staff report working in “grim conditions” with “short and unpaid” breaks and where “being sick” could mean you lose your job.

The boycott begins

So when people had the chance to get behind #BoycottWetherspoons, they jumped at it. Many seized the chance to highlight Martin’s self-serving reasons for ranting at Remainers. In fact, some have been telling us for some time:

Others decided to get behind the boycott campaign due to staff conditions and the “poverty wages” he pays some staff:

The ‘gig economy’ must end

Supporters of the gig economy say:

it brings in a little extra income without a major time commitment.

And while that may suit some it doesn’t outweigh the “unsteady workloads and pay schedules” as well as the “lack of benefits” it means for most. It certainly doesn’t work for those who earn “poverty wages” while Tim Martin pays himself £324,000 per year. So Martin’s rant at “elite Remainers” is a charade. And it also reminds us why the #BoycottWetherspoons campaign must be supported.

Featured image Flickr/Summonedbyfells

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  • Show Comments
      1. Whilst I don’t agree with Tim Martin’s views I’m unsure why the journalist hasn’t researched Wethespoon’s pay and conditions. Not only does JDW offer gaurenteed minimum hour contracts to every single member of staff but they also pay for breaks. It seems odd that this story would use zero hour contracts as a basis for rejecting Martin’s arguement when quite literally every member of staff is offered a GMH contract? Of the 111 staff that choose to work at the Wetherspoons venue I work at 2 have chosen to remain on a zero hour contract as it suits their flexibility. On top of this I note that the journalist has chosen not to report on other benifits that the staff receive, for instance free food and drink when on shift an initiative that cost the company several million pounds a year, or the free shares that are bought for the staff after they have worked for the company for 18 months, or the bonuses that staff can receive for simply doing their jobs well. I agree the staff aren’t paid enough but the company are increasing washes and are continually looking at ways to improve conditions. This has resulted in turnover reducing dramatically over the last 2 years or so. The journalist also fails.to mention the massive tax contribution that JDW makes to the British economy or it’s growing sales or the strong career opportunities that are available for those who want to work hard and be promoted into much better paid jobs. I habe no strong feelings on Brexit although I tempted remain. Regardless of what will happen the poor will remain poor and the rich will remain rich. I voted remain as I would prefer not to be America’s lap dog or for that matter sell off the NHS. I tho k though that reporting on both sides of the arguement is pretty poor and a my of articles I have read are on the verge of being o it right lies. I would like to think that rather than create situation where opposing sides become more and more hostile to each other that instead both sides of the arguement could be investigated and explored so that people could.make reasonable decisions. Could this article be corrected to start with so that the people reading it aren’t miss informed about Wetherspoons practises around employment. Surely all journalist want to report the truth. Thanks

        1. Very interesting comment, thank you.

          Would Peadar O’Cearnaigh please provide a response to this reasonable post?

          I for one would like to see this either refuted with evidence, or an apology for what I hope is an accidental over-sight on his part.

          I am not up to speed with the practices of J.D.Weatherspoons, not having been there as a customer for several years, nor was I aware of there being such issues as people like Jeff Bezos and Amazon workers, seem to feature more in the news.

          Regardless, I am concerned that I have now conflicting information, one view from the writer, and a contradictory view from a J.D.Wetherspoons employee, who has mentioned some specifics to counter the writer’s claims.

          This article needs to be responded to, whilst I am all for sticking it to those that deserve it, I loath sticking it to those that don’t, and I do so detest conflicting data … well not so much the data but the conflict of trust that it brings.

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