A barback in London threatened strike action today over an ongoing dispute regarding the collection of cubed ice in preparation for tonight’s shift.
The North London venue, which cannot be named for legal reasons, has in recent weeks taken the controversial step of making bartenders responsible for the initial ice stock up, rather than barbacks as is traditionally the case.
A bartender, unaware of the logistical switch, requested ice upon being asked by a barback if any support was required.
The barback was quoted as responding,
“That is exactly what barbacks strike over. ”
The bartender who received the threat then replied by exclaiming that he only wanted barbacks to do one thing, and that was to fill up the ice.
The unprecedented shift in responsibilities may be the start of a change in the balance of power between tender and back, one the spine of the operation, the other, the face.
The tense relationship between the two, usually amicable colleagues, has historically been fraught with potential conflicts. With envy and sloth on one side, reckoning against egotism and narcissism on the other.
More as this story develops…