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Tue 5th Sep 2017 - Update: Novus marketing hire, McDonald’s UK strike
Novus hires Michelle Farrell as head of marketing: Novus, the leading London bar and restaurant operator, has announced the appointment of Michelle Farrell to the role of head of marketing, together with the promotion of Victoria Purchase to head of central reservations. Reporting into Simon Gaske, customer experience director, both Farrell and Purchase will form part of the customer experience team, who will be intrinsic to the continued delivery of its strategy to put the experience of its customers at the core of the business. Farrell joins Novus with more than seven years’ marketing experience – most recently with Intertain as marketing controller. As head of marketing, Farrell will be responsible for leading the marketing and digital team, together with external support agencies, to deliver a ‘digital first’ approach to internal and external communications. Purchase has been with the business for almost eight years, rising through the ranks from corporate sales manager to her new position as head of central reservations. Most recently, in her role as CRM Manager, Purchase was instrumental in the build, implementation and training of the live bookings’ platform across the Novus estate. As part of her new position, she will be responsible for managing bookings from corporate customers and its reservation platform. Simon Gaske said: “We are thrilled to welcome Michelle to the business and congratulate Victoria on a very well-deserved promotion. Both bring a wealth of expertise, creativity and innovation to the roles and I look forward to them leading our marketing and sales teams at a very exciting time for the business. I wish them every success.” 

Protest against McDonald’s pay and conditions sees rally outside Parliament: Up to 200 people rallied outside the Houses of Parliament in London to protest against poor pay and conditions at McDonald’s as workers at the restaurant staged their first UK strike, The Guardian has reported. Employees, union workers and members of parliament, including shadow chancellor John McDonnell, gathered on College Green as part of an international day of action on Monday. About 40 staff from McDonald’s restaurants in Cambridge and Crayford, south-east London, walked out over the company’s use of zero-hour contracts and lack of union recognition. Addressing the crowd, McDonnell paid tribute to everyone who had come out in action or solidarity, calling them an “absolute inspiration”. He told The Guardian: “These are workers who are extremely vulnerable in terms of their employment conditions. And yet at the same time they’ve had the courage to come on strike. They’ve said: ‘We’ve had enough and we need to negotiate.’ If I was McDonald’s management I’d be listening very carefully today. I’d contact the union and I’d get round that table.” The Bakers, Food and Allied Workers Union (BFAWU) said the strike was being well supported. Its general secretary, Ronnie Draper, told the rally they were the “heroes and heroines” of their generation. Labour MP John Spellar said: “It’s not a one-off issue. It’s not just about wages … it’s about being treated with respect and not being bullied.” Members of other trade unions joined early-morning picket lines outside the two restaurants, while the Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, offered his backing. The workers are calling for a wage of at least £10 an hour and more secure working hours. McDonald’s said those taking action represented 0.01% of its workforce, adding that the dispute was related to its internal grievance procedures. The company, which employs about 85,000 staff in the UK and 1 million worldwide, announced in April that workers would be offered a choice of flexible or fixed contracts with minimum guaranteed hours, saying that 86% have chosen to stay on flexible contracts. “We’ve had that promise before,” McDonnell said on Monday, “but it hasn’t been realised. The best security we can have is them recognising trade unions so grievances can get resolved rather than strike action.” Other speakers included a choir dressed up as the McDonald’s mascot Ronald McDonald, who called themselves the Evil Ronalds. Lorna McKinnon, 24, and Toni Bruce, 26, both workers in the services industry in Glasgow, performed a spoken word piece and commended fast food worker’s ability to organise themselves. “We think what the guys in Cambridge and Crayford are doing is utterly inspiring,” McKinnon told The Guardian. “Not just for fast food workers but for every worker.”

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