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Lotte Fisher and Louis Cammell
Job title
Duty manager & marketing manager
The Stand Comedy club is one of the most famous comedy venues in the UK, with locations in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Newcastle, employing around 40-50 staff.

In December 2023, the Stand Comedy club in Edinburgh signed a voluntary recognition agreement with Unite, after the majority of workers in the Glasgow club also joined the union. 

Lotte Fisher and Louis Cammell from the Stand talked the TUC through how they achieved union recognition for the first time. 

Lotte, age 30, is a duty manager at the Glasgow venue. They told the TUC: “Last year, we were disappointed that when the real living wage increased, we didn’t get that increase in our pay packets. 

A few of us were already in the Unite union – as Unite had run nights in partnership with the clubs - and we had a meeting with the MD of the company in May. 

He agreed to raise our pay in line with the living wage, and the rise was backdated to February. 

Following this result pretty much everyone in Glasgow joined the union and some of the staff at the Edinburgh venue also joined up.” 

Building membership 

Lotte said it was “relatively easy” to build the union base in Glasgow. They said: “We are all really good friends here, and every time someone raise an issue, we – well, mostly me – talked about how being part of the union could help with that.” 

It was important to keep growing the membership across the venues to secure official recognition. 


Lotte told the TUC: “Just before the Edinburgh Fringe festival in August we had another meeting with the MD about union recognition. 

He wasn’t sure we had the numbers – but during the Fringe more staff signed up, and then we had the numbers to push for official recognition.” 

Gaining recognition 

Lotte explained that once they had those numbers, securing formal recognition was relatively easy. They said: “We had quite a few meetings with Acas and management and got all the formalities into place." 

It feels good to know that we are all unified at work. And that we've made something longer lasting from originally working together just to get our pay rise.  

We know now that any time we have an issue, it can be resolved for our benefit.” 

Strong union density 

Louis, age 26, who is marketing manager for the Stand, said they now have good union density now at both Scottish clubs. 

He told the TUC: “I think we’ve got 100% of staff in Glasgow signed up to Unite now, along with around 60% in Edinburgh. We are adding members at the Newcastle club now. 

Union recognition is valuable for our mostly young staff – we have a couple aged under 20, and most are in their 20s to 40s. 

Having this recognition means we can hold the company to their word.” 

Staff at the clubs now have one of the most progressive contracts of any comedy club. 

They get the real living wage (as a minimum for all staff regardless of age), minimum-hour contracts, safe and free transport home for those working beyond 11pm, and all tips go directly to staff. 


Words of advice 

Lotte had some words of advice for other union members considering campaigning for recognition. They said: “Keep having those conversations. Once you’ve got everyone on side it all becomes so much easier – it’s not just you. 

“In hospitality you can tend to think – oh, this is just how it is and it’s not going to change. But working conditions don’t have to be bad. 

When you ask as a group, you’re much more likely to get what you want. For example, we didn’t have a glass washer behind the bar in Glasgow. So, we wrote a collective letter asking for one as we knew it would make a real difference. And we got it!” 

Louis said: “Don’t let lack of clarity around which sector you work in or which union you should join stop you. 

Working at the comedy club we weren’t sure if we came under hospitality or entertainment. But at the end of the day, it’s just about people helping each other.” 

Benefits of union support 

Louis explained the other benefits the staff have received from being part of a union. Recently he was given notice on his rental property, and he was offered half an hour’s free legal consultation through the union. 

Lotte said some of their colleagues had benefitted from additional paternity and sick pay following advice from the union. 

Bryan Simpson, lead organiser at Unite Hospitality, said: “This is such an important agreement, not just for the workers of The Stand clubs who will now benefit from some of the best terms and conditions in the sector. 

This is already resonating with workers in similar venues, giving them confidence that they too can collectively advocate for a fair work environment with better pay and stronger contracts.” 

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