Pub Tycoon at center of missing pensions scandal waived clothing brand debt
A pub tycoon at the center of a missing pensions scandal had already forgiven thousands of pounds in debt to a clothing brand he owned.
Richard Davies is one of three businessmen behind bar chain Abandon Ship and MacMerry who have been accused of ‘systematic mistreatment’ of dozens of staff in Glasgow and Dundee.
The Sunday Mail reported last week how a number of employees claim pension contributions were deducted from their wages but not paid into a pension fund.
A litany of other complaints include unpaid holiday wages, sexual harassment that was not properly investigated and coronavirus regulations not followed.
We can now reveal that Davies ran ASA Retail Ltd with co-manager Duncan Sweeny, selling Abandon Ship branded clothing sold by retailers such as ASOS and from a boutique in Princes Square in Glasgow.
The company folded and laid off staff while owing nearly £120,000 to 12 creditors.
A t-shirt supplier claimed they had been seriously left behind as they said Davies had simply continued in business under a different company name – Hard Grind Ltd.
Bryan Simpson of Unite Hospitality said: “Six weeks after sending in a shocking group grievance backed by a plethora of compelling evidence, we are still awaiting a substantive update on the sexual misconduct investigation promised by the administrators.
“Our members still owe thousands of dollars in paid vacations, pensions and unpaid taxes, with administrators completely ignoring demands for payment.
“Hearing that there are historical financial problems is not surprising but still worrying.
“We need administrators to stop sticking their heads in the sand, to pay workers what they are owed and to engage with the union, which represents the majority of their membership.”
Davies was also a director of Easttradingco Ltd, which folded around the same time as ASA, and Companies House records show he was a director of four other dissolved companies.
The MacMerry chain, run by Phil Donaldson and AJ McMenemy, includes bars Dundee Draffens and Bird And Bear as well as The Luchador in Glasgow.
The entrepreneurs also operate the Abandon Ship bars in Glasgow and Dundee with Davies, who frequently flaunts his luxurious lifestyle on social media.
The businessmen have been accused of abusing around 60 workers in Scotland at their 13 bars.
Joel Galbraith, 28, a former sous-chef at Abandon Ship in Glasgow, is among employees demanding to know what happened to his pension.
Payslips seen by the Sunday Mail show contributions were taken from his salary, but he says they were never paid into a Nest pension fund account.
Another worker told how she was contacted by HMRC who said she owed over £2,000 in tax after a spell of employment with MacMerry.
McMenemy and Donaldson established MacMerry 300 in 2010 before later going into business with Davies.