THE fate of 31 jobs hangs in the balance as a student union deliberates whether to reinstate staff who were let go before the government's wage guarantee. 

The Queen Margaret Union, at Glasgow University, has been blasted for not taking back hospitality staff who were let go last week.

Unite, which represents workers at the student union, has taken bosses to task for their prevarication on reinstating staff who were "unceremoniously" sacked before the government announced the pay protection pledge to meet 80 per cent of wages.

The QMU's chief executive officer, Margaret Davidson has been given 24 hours to justify or reverse her decision to drop the 31 members of staff.

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In a memo to staff, the QMU said it would be closing its bar and venue and would be running on a "skeleton staff". 

Staff for those parts of the business will be paid for the shifts they were meant to work and for any unused holidays.

As most of the affected staff are students, they will not be able to claim benefits if they are made unemployed. 

Bryan Simpson, Industrial Organiser for Unite Hospitality, said: "The treatment of our members at the Queen Margaret Union by it's CEO Margaret Davison has been nothing short of disgraceful. 

"If they push through these sackings, they will leave the reputation of the QMU in tatters as an employer which treats its workers worse than the G1 Group."

A number of businesses have faced criticism over controversial decisions to lay off staff amid fears of an economic downturn caused by the coronavirus crisis. 

To combat fears, Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced on Friday a package of support, including a promise that the government would pay workers' wages directly if their company was among those forced to shut. 

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The same day, Boris Johnson announced that all pubs, clubs, theatres and restaurants were to shut to curb the spread of the virus.

The Glasgow Times has contacted Ms Davidson for comment.