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16 Jun 2021

Kalyeena Makortoff and Rob Davies, The Guardian

UK: Former workers sign open letter alleging poor health and safety & 'toxic' working environment at BrewDog; incl. co. comments

Wiki Commons

"Former BrewDog staff accuse craft beer firm of culture of fear", 10 June 2021

BrewDog, the fast-expanding craft beer firm, has apologised to former employees who accused the company and its co-founder James Watt of fostering a “culture of fear” in which workers were bullied and “treated like objects”.

In an open letter circulated on Twitter, 61 former workers alleged that the Scottish brewer’s dizzyingly rapid growth had involved cutting corners on health and safety, espousing values it did not live by, and creating a “toxic” culture that left staff suffering from mental illness.

“Growth, at all costs, has always been perceived as the number one focus for the company,” the letter alleges. “Being treated like a human being was sadly not always a given for those working at BrewDog.”...

...According to an internal staff memo seen by the Guardian, BrewDog initially considered hitting back, by rallying current employees to sign a response letter.

The memo labelled the claims made by ex-staff about its working conditions “demeaning” and warned current employees that the allegations posed a “threat to all of our livelihoods”.

But BrewDog decided against launching a counterpunch, instead issuing a contrite statement acknowledging some of its failings. “As a fast-growing business, we have always tried to do the best by our team — we do have thousands of employees with positive stories to tell as a result,” Watt said.

“But the tweet we saw last night proves that on many occasions we haven’t got it right. We are committed to doing better, not just as a reaction to this, but always; and we are going to reach out to our entire team past and present to learn more. But most of all, right now, we are sorry.”...