Boycott

I’m making a list of firms that have acted odiously during the pandemic, and I will be boycotting them once normality resumes. The first three are listed below;

J. D. Wetherspoons

No real surprise there. Tim Martin, the owner of said pub chain, has always come across as a money grabbing gob-shite. Initially he wanted to keep his pubs open, in defiance of the shut-down, and only complied when he wasn’t given an option. He then refused to pay his staff until the Government rescue package came into effect, telling his 40,000 staff that they could apply to work in Tescos. He then came out saying that he wouldn’t be paying his suppliers either. This isn’t a small business struggling financially. Last year Wetherspoons made £100 million profit, whilst the majority of his staff are paid minimum wage. I’m not in the least bit surprised to see that one of his pubs has been covered in graffiti, saying ‘pay your staff’.

Mike Ashley

The billionaire owner of Sports Direct, House of Fraser and Evans Cycles, defied the shut-down stating that his stores were essential business. Possibly Evans, but definitely not the other two. Putting profits before the health of his staff, or the health of others. The majority of Sports Direct and House of Fraser stores are in city centres, so the staff would have to use public transport to get to work. Once again, his staff are mostly paid minimum wages, so taking time off isn’t really option for them. His factory is still open and MPs have asked if staff who have been temporarily laid off will be paid.

Britannia Hotel

13 staff at the Coylumbridge Hotel in Aviemore were handed a notice evicting them from their accommodation in the hotel and told their employment had been terminated with immediate effect. It’s bad enough to lose your job, but to be made homeless at the same time is unforgivable. The bosses at Britannia had no option but to perform a U-turn after the massive public backlash they quite rightly received, blaming it on an ‘admin error’. They also own Pontins, and have re-hired staff that were laid off, now that the Government furlough scheme has started. Added to all this, Which? have declared the Britannia Hotel chain to be the worst in the UK every year since 2013. Have a look at their website, and then when this is all over, book somewhere different to stay.

Prince Charles

I’m not suggesting that we should all boycott the 71 year old Prince Charles, but he gets an honorary mention for testing positive for the Coronavirus. Why was he tested? He isn’t a front line NHS staff member. Why can he get tested and my wife who works in a care home can’t? Prince Charles has announced that he is self-isolating at Balmoral, which is set in 50,000 acres of land. If the land was in a square, it would be approximately 14km across. That’s quite a good run without leaving your garden. There are also 52 bedrooms inside the Castle. Not your average self isolation.

This isn’t by any means an exhaustive list, and unfortunately I’m sure that over the coming weeks I will be able to add to this. On a lighter note, 500,000 people have signed up to be NHS volunteers in less than 24 hours. On the whole people are good, but companies often forget that their staff are not just items on a spreadsheet.

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