Strike-hit bookie Sean Graham to open for Grand National
Sean Graham bookmaker insists it will open for business on Grand National day, April 9 - despite planned strike action over pay by some staff.
A similar strike last month meant some of the firm's shops in Belfast closed on two of the biggest betting days of the year during the Cheltenham Festival.
A spokesman for Sean Graham said: "The majority of our staff wish to accept the pay offer proposed by management, which is above the rates on offer in other betting shop chains in the UK.
"Our offer to staff is £7.29 per hour, more than the new £7.20 National Living Wage rate.
"We cannot improve our offer, as to do so would jeopardise jobs and force shop closures."
The spokesman said for the Unite union "to drive a claim for an increase of 23% is simply irresponsible. Such an increase would be likely to lead to the closure of shops and loss of dozens of jobs".
Earlier Davy McMurray, Unite officer for staff at the bookmakers, said the company "can well afford to pay their workers decently".
"The current pay offer leaves workers just nine pence an hour above the bare legal minimum and was overwhelmingly rejected by the workforce," he said.
"It's time management got serious about sharing their business success with their workforce."