A MAN who lost his job at a popular brewery for questioning their support to the Black Lives Matter movement has accused bosses of instilling a “culture of fear”.

Fraser Barker was sacked by West Brewery after he shared a post online during protests in Glasgow Green saying it was a “shame” they hadn’t publicly backed the anti-racism group.

Mr Barker was told yesterday he had lost his job following a probe by West bosses, who claim he brought the company reputation into disrepute with his post.

READ MORE: Union hits out at West Brewery for allegedly sacking employee over Black Lives Matter post

Now, Mr Barker, who had worked for the firm for two and a half years, has accused the company of using it as an excuse to sack him after he raised issues over pay on furlough. 

The 24-year-old said: “I had shared a couple of posts from on my private Twitter, which has no one from West on it, supporting the Black Lives Matter movement.

“Then on the day there was a protest in Glasgow Green, I retweeted another post supporting the movement and said it was a shame the brewery in Glasgow Green had remained silent on the matter.

“The next day, I was told they would be looking into my message as they said it had negatively drawn attention to the company. It’s a bit ironic as now there is a lot more since Unite put it out there.

“They told me on Friday morning I had been dismissed and given how things have gone with West recently I wasn’t surprised and had been preparing for it.”

Mr Barker now fears he will not be able to find another job as he is currently shielding due to being in an at-risk category for Covid-19.

He added: “It is terrifying and I have no idea how I will be able to find another job. Even when I was on furlough money was still tight.

“Things like this have happened to other employees and there is definitely a culture of fear within the place. Staff are afraid to speak out.”

Glasgow Times:

His trade union, Unite, say they will lodge a claim for unfair dismissal against Noah Beers Ltd “as soon as reasonably practicable.”

Bryan Simpson, industrial organiser, said: “Our member raised justifiable concerns that his employer West Brewery had not shown any explicit support for Black Lives Matter despite a 5000-strong protest a few hundred metres away from their beer garden and was sacked for this, without any notice or prior warnings.

“It is no coincidence that only two weeks before, the same member sent an email to the same owner requesting clarity on significant discrepancies with their wages during furlough.

“A collective grievance was lodged and rejected. Our member, who was terminated, was a signatory on that grievance. This is victimisation pure and simple. We shall be lodging a claim for unfair dismissal against Noah Beers Ltd as soon as reasonably practicable.”

Petra Wetzel, West owner, said: “The employee in question did not speak to West about our stance on BLM. He did not even try to do so. 

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“Instead, he decided to go on Twitter to criticise us because we had made no statement on the topic. 

“His intention was to be critical of the business, without having established our stance.

“At West, we believe actions speak louder than words. We pride ourselves on being an equal opportunities employer. We have BAME employees and shareholders within the business and we do not discriminate.

“Other companies might make grand statements, but when you scratch the surface, the words are meaningless if the company doesn’t live the values. We think living the values is more important and we demonstrate that on a daily basis.

“We are here to make and serve beer in an environment that values equality. It’s hard enough to survive in the hospitality industry at the moment without your own staff trying to damage the business.

“You don’t get to do that and still work here. I am confident that most small business owners would do exactly the same thing.”