Economy

Rail strikes timed to cause ‘maximum pain’, says pub boss Phil Urban

Railway strikes are timed to cause ‘maximum pain’ for businesses and workers, says pub chain boss Phil Urban

Mick Lynch has timed the rail strikes to cause as much pain as possible for businesses and workers, says one of Britain’s biggest pub bosses.

Phil Urban, chief executive of Mitchells & Butlers, warned that railway union leader Lynch, who last month insisted he was ‘not the Grinch’, had intended the union action to ’cause everyone the most pain’.

Urban said the move will come as a blow to those who rely on extra hours and higher tips in the run-up to Christmas.

Strikes: Mitchells & Butlers boss Phil Urban warned union leader Mike Lynch (pictured) that the union action was meant to ’cause everyone the most pain’

“If you’re Mick Lynch, now’s the time to do it, because it’s the one that causes everyone the most pain.

But for someone who talks about the rights of his members, he ignores all the people who went through two torrid years.

“There are people who depend on Christmas and want to work and see a chance to make tips.

“But there is also the human aspect, that people work at home and alone all year round and see their Christmas party as the only chance to get together.

“That’s been taken from them, and I think it’s really shabby.”

But Urban added: “I’m optimistic we’ll still have a good Christmas because around this time last year Chris Whitty had told everyone to stay away from pubs.”

Mitchells & Butlers, which has more than 1,700 pubs, posted a £8 million profit in the year to September 24, up from a loss of £42 million last year.

That came as sales doubled to £2.2 billion in the year. Shares rose 6.5 percent, or 9.2 pence, to 151.2 pence.

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Jacky

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