Image Source: Patrik Kristian
388 of the chain's staff do not intend to return to work at Wetherspoons.
Chloe Shakesby

Nearly 400 Wetherspoons workers resign as chain gears up for reopening

A nationwide pub chain has announced that nearly 400 of its staff are resigning ahead of venues reopening in July.

JD Wetherspoon, which owns 875 pubs in the UK, has not confirmed whether the mass resignations are connected to the backlash it saw against its response to the UK’s lockdown earlier this year.

Following the government’s announcement that pubs will reopen on July 4, the company trended online with the hashtag “Neverspoons”, with many saying they would no longer frequent the chain due to its responses to coronavirus.

The 388 resignations come after the chain’s boss, Tim Martin, announced in March that more than 40,000 workers would remain unpaid until the company received its government grant.

He also sent an email to the pub’s suppliers, saying that no invoices would be paid until the chain reopened.

In today’s statement, the company confirmed that it has been approved for a £48.3m loan through the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption scheme.

Wetherspoons said: “Following a share placing in April 2020, from which the company raised a total of approximately £141m before fees, a group of the company’s lending banks has approved a further £48.3 million loan through the CLBIS.

“The company’s pubs in England are due to reopen on 4 July 2020, in line with the government’s guidance.

“Following consultation with employees, resulting in over 3,000 suggestions, the company has created the ‘Wetherspoon COVID-19 Secure Operating Plan’, which sets out how we intend to safely operate pubs when we reopen.”

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