Whitbread shares drop again after leaving ethical trading initiative

Alys Key
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The dispite over Premier Inn workers has led to Whitbread withdrawing from the organisation

Shares in Costa and Premier Inn owner Whitbread fell more than one per cent earlier today after it withdrew from the UK's ethical trade body.

The move follows accusations by Unite union that Whitbread ignored its attempts to gain access to workers for Premier Inn.

Today the FTSE 100 firm put out a statement saying that Unite had made "false allegations" about its employment practices.

Read more: Barclays UK chair Sir Ian Cheshire steps down from Whitbread's board

The company joined the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI), a body backed by trade unions and human rights organisations, in 2016. But due to the dispute with Unite Whitbread today confirmed it would not be renewing its membership.

Shares in Whitbread were down 0.63 per cent at time of writing, sitting at 3,638p.

A Whitbread spokesperson said: "We have an open policy towards our employees belonging to a union. Our employees are completely free to talk to a union, to discuss trade unions in the workplace and to invite a union representative to join them at formal meetings. We have a number of unionised team members who are affiliated with a range of different unions."

Read more: Costa owner Whitebread has been boosted by Premier Inn

It's been a bad week for Whitbread, after a negative analyst note predicted there was limited growth left in the coffee market, sending the Costa owner's shares slump.

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