Stricken bar workers hold fundraising concert in bid to reopen The 13th Note in Glasgow under employee ownership

Workers who lost their jobs when a popular music venue in Glasgow closed have held a fundraiser amid plans to reopen the bar under employee ownership.

The 13th Note called in liquidators last month after staff began a series of weekend strikes citing issues with contracts, health and safety and a rodent infestation.

The stricken workers have since launched a public campaign in the hopes of reopening the bar venue themselves and held a concert on Sunday that added £1,661 into the fundraising pot.

The crowdfunder is now sitting at £9,261.

Chef Nick Troy said: “Last night’s benefit gig was a massive success and we are now well on our way to raising the kind of money that will be needed to bring The 13th Note into workers’ ownership and back to the standards that it deserves to be as a cultural institution in the Glasgow music scene.

“The punters of Glasgow deserve a high-quality live events and vegan food venue which pays workers above the real living wage, with guaranteed hours, and reinvests profits back into the venue.

“That’s what we want to build here, and the people of Glasgow are helping us get there.”

Days after the first 48-hour strike was held over the weekend 14-16 July, owner Jacqueline Fennessy announced the closure of the business after 21 years and claimed it had been “driven to insolvency by Unite Hospitality”.

It was the first bar workers’ strike in Scotland in more than 20 years and coincided with the busy Glasgow Fair public holiday.

The industrial action was set to continue every weekend until 6 August.

Ms Fennessy claimed she was forced to permanently shut the venue down due to a “drastic reduction in revenue” as a result of Unite Hospitality’s involvement.

She added that claims of serious health and safety issues were “simply not true”, however the bar was closed for a short spell by environmental health due to a mouse infestation.

Ms Fennessy said 18 team members would be losing their jobs, while Unite Hospitality said 21 workers were affected.

The union branded the decision to close the business as “trade union intimidation pure and simple”.

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The benefit concert to support the former workers was held at The Classic Grand and featured performances from Tina Sandwich, Apostille, Calum Baird, Siannen and Vos Rough.

Around 150 people attended.

Michael Kasparis, who’s behind Apostille and Night School Records, said: “The 13th Note and places like it are absolutely essential for the culture of the city.

“These are places where new ideas are explored, new groups and artists build their craft.

“They’re spaces where you’re allowed to fail creatively and improve. They’re also spaces where you can feel accepted and welcome.

“The idea of a venue being owned and run by its workers is so exciting. It would mean it could concentrate on doing what it does best, providing the space for vital creativity.”

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