The 13th Note cafe in Glasgow has been ordered to close to fix hygiene issues amid an ongoing dispute over union recognition.

Members of Unite Hospitality handed a collective grievance motion to the owners of the business in March, raising issues such as zero hour contracts, which offer little stability and see hours fluctuate week to week; staff under 23 and under 21 being paid lower rates for the same work; and kitchen staff being expected to work 12 hour shifts. The union said over 90 per cent of staff had signed the motion.

On Thursday June 1 the union announced that kitchen staff would be withdrawing from work due to “serious & imminent danger to health & safety” and invoking section 44 of the Employment Right Acts.

Read More: Staff at 13th Note in Glasgow to walk out over 'serious and imminent' safety concerns

They pointed to issues with an industrial fridge, and shelves collapsing onto the head of a chef.

Jacqueline Fennessy, the owner of 13th Note, denied there was a health & safety issue and told The Herald the action was about "forcing my arm to accept Unite as the sole representation of staff".

On Tuesday the union shared what it said was a remedial action notice which had been served on the cafe, compelling it to close to fix hygiene issues.

The notice said: "Adequate procedures are not in place to control pests in that mouse droppings were found throughout the food premises in contravention of EC regulation 852/2004.

"This notice requires you to cease the operation completely."

Bryan Simpson, lead organiser Unite Hospitality said: "A remedial action notice compelling immediate closure is the one of the most serious warnings that Environmental Health can issue. 

"Our members have been trying to warn the owner Jacqueline Fennessy (via a formal collective grievance process) that there are serious issues with pest control and hygiene for months now but they have been dismissed by her. 

The Herald:

"This serious notice also comes the same day that Ms Fennessy assured us in writing that she has 'rectified all health & safety issues'. 

"What we need urgently from Ms Fennessy are two things:

  • Immediate action to resolve all hygiene, health & safety issues at 13th note  
  • Reassurances that all workers will be paid during closure."

A Glasgow City Council spokesperson said: “Our environmental health officers carried out an inspection of the 13th Note today after receiving a complaint.

"Officers issued a remedial action notice which prevents operation of the business until matters of cleanliness and mice infestation have been addressed.”

Owner Jacqueline Fennessy said: "Despite the venue being given a clean bill of health from pest control on May 25, signs of mouse activity were found.

"I have immediately actioned pest control to tackle the issue.

"Contractors have been called in to fill any holes found and gauze on air intake vents as recommended by EHO.

"The unit is being professionally deep cleaned.

"All recommendations are being actioned, and we will be in a position in the next few days for a further inspection from EHO.

"All rota'd workers will be paid in full during this closure."