Pub workers dump ice outside Scottish Parliament in lockdown protest

Hospitality staff say they have been ‘frozen out’ by 16-day closure order

Peter Stubley
Saturday 10 October 2020 18:07
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Hospitality workers protest new Scottish restrictions

Pub and bar workers dumped ice in front of the Scottish Parliament in protest at the new lockdown restrictions.

The measures announced by first minister Nicola Sturgeon meant licenced premises in five areas across central Scotland had to close for 16 days from 6pm on Friday.

In Edinburgh hospitality staff decided to haul the leftover cubes from their ice machines to Holyrood - in a demonstration of how their jobs had been 'frozen'.

Meanwhile in Glasgow dozens of employees from bars and pubs dumped their ice outside the City Chambers at George Square.

People wearing masks gathered and cheered as more ice was poured on the pile from buckets and carrier bags.

Hotel worker Caitlin Lee said she had decided to join her colleagues in the hospitality industry even though her workplace was exempt from the closure.

"We're now in a position where we don't know what's going to happen," she said.

"Everyone in hospitality has already went through the first wave of not being able to work and now we're coming into a second wave of it.

"Are we going to be able to work into Christmas and New Year?

"In hospitality you're on zero hours contracts or minimum wages. What support are you going to receive?

"There needs to be more clarity in the industry and within the government about what they're actually going to do for one of the biggest employers in the country."

Another demonstrator, Chloe Fraser, argued that hospitality venues were paying the price for the public not obeying the law and health guidance.

She told PA: "It's clearly seen that people are not obeying the law or caring about the bigger picture.

"Hospitality is having to spend a lot of money putting the screens up, having to do all of these extra things which they've been abiding by in Glasgow.

"What's happening after hours is the issue ... these independent companies can't afford these losses. That's why we're seeing this."

Additional reporting by Press Association

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