Another positive meeting

We had a great meeting tonight with lots of new faces and positive discussions. We made some exciting decisions and plans, such as:

  • Linking up with other like-minded organisations and individuals across Norwich to organise on a broad base
  • Putting on a benefit gig to raise funds, raise our profile and help benefit related causes
  • Further developing our membership in particularly exploitative workplaces and chains
  • Creating a five year plan to allow us to progress and develop further

We meet every second Sunday of the month at 7pm, venue is confirmed via our Facebook

Liverpool Council Contractor Bulky Bob’s Facing Workfare Protest

Liverpool IWW

FRC-100915-0255Liverpool Industrial Workers of the World union (IWW) have called a demonstration outside Bulky Bob’s on London Road, for a week on Saturday. This comes after a tip-off from an anonymous insider at the household item recycling company, who told Liverpool IWW that:

“[…] there is one paid manager in the store (who used to work for the company that is now LearnDirect which is one of the major ‘providers’) and the rest of the staff are on workfare or ‘volunteers’. Likewise, the connected company FRC (Furniture Resource Centre) has a warehouse on Brunswick Dock which runs on workfare, as do its vans which collect and deliver to Bulky Bobs.”

There are many workfare exploiters in the city, and our union has already targeted some of them, with more to follow. But what makes the case of Bulky Bob’s so explosive is the fact that the ‘social enterprise’ operates…

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Open Meeting

Hello from the NBHU!

We’ve been very busy recently and we figure it’s about time for another open meeting.

So: we’d like to invite you all to come along at 6pm on Sunday the 27th July to the Rumsey Wells.

We hope to be discussing issues relevant to those attending, for instance zero-hours contracts, employment rights and workplace organisation. If you’d like to bring up any topics in particular, it would be fantastic if you could send agenda items to, post them on our facebook page, or leave them in the comments below. Equally, if you don’t have anything specific in mind, or would simply like to attend and observe – that’s fine too!

We’ll be wearing NBHU T-shirts, so hopefully we’ll be recognisable, and you can check on facebook and here for updates.


We hope to see you soon!


Strike Solidarity

Members of the NBHU today joined the TUC march to support more than one million striking workers from across society, including firefighters, teachers, cleaners, civil servants, transport workers, housing officers, public sector workers and many more. It was fantastic to see such an impressive display of solidarity between workers and there were some inspirational speeches, with most speakers criticising the devastating austerity measures imposed upon the poorest in society. Some campaigns were particularly notable, for instance the striking Ritzy cinema workers, who have been encouraging customers to boycott their employer, Picturehouse (which also runs Cinema City in Norwich), in protest of their refusal to pay their workers a living wage. Although we share common ground with workers from all professions, the struggle of workers in service industry roles, such as those at the Ritzy, resonate particularly with those of us in bar and hospitality work. The campaign to secure the living wage is an incredibly important one – all workers should be able to afford to live on the wage they earn. You can support the striking Ritzy workers here.


creds: BBC

creds: BBC


Solidarity with all those striking today!

How the NBHU can help you!

One of our newest members has had a rough time in his recent employment. Since joining the union, however, he’s gained two jobs and has no regrets. Here’s why:


“I’ve had my fair share of terrible jobs, but glass collecting at a certain Norwich pub was definitely the worst. It wasn’t the fast-paced, break-free, laborious work that I struggled with, neither was it the drunk rugby-playing clientele who would often kindly inform me of the supposed link between my physique and sexuality whilst I would attempt to get past; it was in fact the management that made the work so difficult. I regularly received an earful for the most minute of mistakes, like using too much spray to wipe down a surface or showing an absence of ‘initiative’ by filling the dish washer instead of putting on half a load early (I’m as clueless as you are…); nasty, stressful and inefficient. I got my head down and bit my tongue, because I needed that money.

Having asked for the Easter weekend off with the compulsory two week warning, I was told missing bank holidays was unacceptable and I shouldn’t come back the following week; no reasoning would change this. A financial ball-ache conceded, I can’t say I was too fussed. I’d worked hard in unacceptable conditions, to be fired having followed the rules. I left the pub unfairly unemployed, but relieved – a rare combination.

The following evening, a friend informed me of a Norwich Bartenders and Hospitality Union meeting. Ravishing the opportunity to rant about the previous night’s sacking, I arrived to a small group of friendly faces in a more tasteful Norwich pub. Frankly, I expected the union to be merely symbolic, but when I heard about their ambitious aims, my attention was drawn. The union could represent me at my old workplace, whilst improving my bar skills and helping me find a new job. As the meeting progressed I warmed to my comrades in the union, feeling their passion for helping others in the industry.

I left the meeting feeling optimistic, with both a CV from me and a good word from other members going in the direction of a few potential employers. Five days later I had a trial shift at a great pub, with other temporary bar work in the pipeline, both of which have now transpired into employment.

As for my previous employer, we are currently seeking the advice of the IWW’s legal team and will be further pursuing the matter, regarding unfair dismissal and unacceptable working conditions.

Work doesn’t have to be a dreaded ordeal. You don’t have to put up and count yourself lucky to have a job. You are a valued team member in a tough industry and you should be treated as such. The Norwich Bartenders and Hospitality Union have made me feel that way and can help you too.”


Solidarity and workplace organisation can get you places – if you’re in a similar situation, or know someone who is, don’t hesitate to get in contact via our contact page, or at

May Day Celebrations in Chapelfield Gardens

The NBHU will be at the May Day celebrations organised by the Norwich and District Trades Union Council in Chapelfield Gardens on Sunday the 4th May. Make sure you come along to have a chat, sign up, hear more about how we can help you in your work, or pick up a T-shirt or some information.

May Day 2014May Day 2014_2

We’re hoping to be there all day, from 11am to 5pm, so please do come and get involved!

 You can get more info about the day here. See you there!

RIP Bob Crow

It is with sadness that we learned that Bob Crow, General Secretary of the RMT, died yesterday at age 52. It is truly a great loss to the union movement – Bob was an inspirational leader who achieved a great many successes over the course of his leadership. He was a dedicated to improving the lives and workplaces of his members, and was instrumental in many gains made in the sector over the years. He has been commemorated by many as a true working class hero, who fought tirelessly for his beliefs and his members. Even Boris Johnson, who regularly disagreed with Bob, particularly over his organisation of  London tube workers, said he “was a fighter and a man of character”.

He certainly was.


RIP, Comrade.