“Sorry seems to be the hardest word?
On your website you state that ‘Pubs are about people, the ones who run them, the suppliers who help them and the communities they serve’ – and as individuals who have spent many an hour drinking in your pub, we want to tell you that we are upset and angry over the recent Employment Tribunal case involving Andy Stephens that has come to light regarding a female member of staff who was sexually discriminated against.
We wholeheartedly support the outcome of the case and the woman involved.
Your behaviour has hurt and disappointed every drinker, community and organisation that has made your pub ‘our pub’ and as such we demand not only acknowledgement of what has happened but an apology and a promise of intent to change to reassure the community that The Rutland Arms does not condone this behaviour, or any other form of discrimination, and ensure that this will not happen again.
Underreporting means that statistics on sexual harassment at work are hard to locate, but surveys suggest between 40 and 90 per cent of women in Europe experience harassment in the workplace at some point in their lives. This is an endemic problem which can lead to loss of confidence, illness, psychological damage, failure to progress in a career, or being forced to leave work (Equal Opportunities Commission, 2007).
We want to let you know we will not be drinking in your pub until this matter is resolved.
LaDIYfest as a collective has held several meetings and events at The Rutland over the past year and we are saddened and angry at what has happened, and in particular the lack of response from the pub. We want to encourage individuals and community groups to think about these issues and about what continuing to go to The Rutland for a drink or to a meeting or event is saying. We feel that any support in this sense is whitewashing over what has happened and ultimately condones this sort of behaviour as acceptable. It is not.
If you are angry or disappointed or hurt by what has happened, we want to ask you to write to The Rutland and tell them. If you are planning to boycott the pub, tell them why. You can do so either by emailing them directly at email@example.com or tweeting them at rutlandarms or writing on their facebook wal (https://www.facebook.com/rutland.arms ). If you organise meetings or events at the pub, think about why you would continue to do so.
Please help spread the word and comment or join if you agree!
This is an open letter we posted on 18th May 2012, also found on the Facebook group we set up – following this, Andy Stephens posted a statement and we are currently trying to arrange a meeting between LaDIYfest and Andy to discuss these issues. Please join the group to show your support and follow updates.