Pubs lockdown protest: Glasgow hospitality workers dump truck-load of ice outside City Chambers

Owners and employees from bars, pubs and restaurants across Scotland’s two main cities joined forces tonight in a peaceful protest. The hospitality workers dumped leftover ice outside the City Chambers in Glasgow in a symbolic gesture about the new coronavirus measures. A truck dumped it’s frozen cargo and workers filled buckets, jackets, or their hands to create a pile topped with a gravestone reading ‘hospitality industry’ on its front.

Ice protest at George Square in Glasgow after pubs close at 6pm after new government COVID rules are brought in

Organisers said the action “symbolises that we’ve been put on ice for the next 16 days” and is a drastic warning that “the hospitality industry in Scotland is literally melting away”.

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Graham Suttle, Managing Director of Kained Holdings and owner of The Finnieston and Lebowski’s, told Glasgow Live: “I was thinking that it was great to see the turnout from the hospitality industry, there were good numbers.

In typical Glaswegian fashion we brought a bit of humour to it. “I think it was important that the message is quite clear – it’s not about wanting to revolt, it’s not about special treatment, it’s about parity and in order to have parity we need honesty and evidence, otherwise we continue to be scape-goated and used as a cash cow that we’ve previously been used as. “Enough is enough.”

In relation to the protest itself, and the questions around social distancing and hygiene measures, Graham said “we asked everyone to wear masks, and we did our best. “We would like to remind people that those conditions are like that when children are in classrooms, that people are in buses and tubes all day. This is why we need parity and clarity.

“We did our best, and we got our point across.”

Pubs lockdown protest: Glasgow hospitality workers dump truck-load of ice outside City ChambersIce protest at George Square in Glasgow after pubs close at 6pm after new government COVID rules are brought in

Tonight, the Scottish Government announced how it will deliver the GBP40million support package to hospitality workers across the next 16 days. The COVID-19 Restrictions Fund will provide one-off grants of up to GBP3,000, depending on rateable value, to bars, restaurants and other businesses required to close by regulations. A hardship fund with grants of up to GBP1,500 will support some businesses that remain open but are directly impacted by the restrictions, including those in the direct supply chains of firms that must close from tonight.

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In addition, up to GBP9 million of funding will help with the costs of re-furloughing staff by supporting the 20% salary contribution required by the UK Government.

A discretionary fund of up to GBP11 million will help businesses that need support but don’t fall into the above categories.

This will, for example, support soft play centres that have been unable to re-open this month.

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