More than 500 workers axed at Glasgow’s SEC

More than 500 workers are set to lose their jobs at Scotland’s biggest exhibition centre – before the furlough scheme ends.

More than 500 workers are set to lose their jobs at Scotland’s biggest exhibition centre – before the furlough scheme ends.

Staff employed by Levy Restaurants, which runs hospitality services at the Scottish Events Campus (SEC) in Glasgow, received the devastating news by email.

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The firm told the hundreds of contracted and non-contracted workers their last furlough payment through the UK Government’s Job Retention Scheme would be made on September 9.

Valentina Severa Clavell, a worker at the venue, said staff had received “barely any communication and support”.

Workers were told that due to the fact live events are not able to recommence because of ongoing coronavirus restrictions, the company would not continue their employment.

The affected staff do not work for the SEC, which is 90 per cent owned by Glasgow City Council, but rather Levy Restaurants. The email which was sent to staff stated: “We took the decision to furlough you and the majority of Levy people because we hoped that events would return in the short term.

“It has become increasingly clear that concerns, sporting and other major events will only return in a ‘behind closed doors’ fashion at this stage. “The prospects of fully attended events is many months away and may only return in 2021.”

A Unite union hospitality spokesman condemned the move as “disgraceful”.

The spokesman said: “The way in which Levy Restaurants have treated their staff at Scottish Events Campus is nothing short of disgraceful.

“There is an alternative to mass redundancy available till at least October 31 in the Job Retention Scheme.

“Instead Levy are looking to terminate all core and casual staff in the next few weeks because from September they will be expected to contribute a measly 10% towards their wages.

Scottish Greens co-leader and Glasgow MSP Patrick Harvie said: “Job losses on this scale are absolutely devastating for the city as well as for the individuals involved.

“Glasgow City Council own the SEC so it’s vital that it and the Scottish Government explore every avenue available to prevent these jobs going. It’s been clear for some time though that ending the furlough scheme on a cliff edge would lead to huge numbers of job losses.

“The Chancellor must now put people’s livelihoods first and commit to extending the furlough scheme into 2021.”

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