BrewDog’s boss has been hit with allegations of intimidating former staff ahead of a documentary looking at claims of the brewery’s “toxic” workplace culture.
The brewery has been trying to improve its image after ex-employees published an open letter claiming there was a workplace culture of bullying that negatively impacted staff mental health.
The BBC has produced a documentary, titled Disclosure: The Truth About BrewDog, examining the claims made in the letter, which will broadcast next week.
According to The Guardian newspaper, BrewDog boss James Watt posted in the company’s forum, available to investors and certain staff, warning that sources may face further action.
“All of this is very, very likely to end up in court, Watt reportedly posted, and said a court order could force the BBC to name former staff who spoke with the BBC.
He said the BBC would “likely have told sources that their identity will remain anonymous” but said this could “never be guaranteed”.
“If anyone is in any way concerned by this, it is not too late to withdraw your consent,” he said.
In a statement, James Watt said: “I suffered a number of hacking attempts last year into my personal email accounts. As part of its investigations into BrewDog, the BBC appears to have acquired personal information that is entirely confidential and it’s clearly a concern that the BBC has been passed information that may well have come from that illegal hacking, or information that was otherwise illegally obtained.
“We also know false information has been given to the BBC, which if broadcast, would be highly defamatory. BrewDog fully supports transparency and investigative journalism. However it must also protect itself from defamatory allegations and will not hesitate to do so.”
A spokesperson for the Unite trade union said Watt was trying to intimidate former and current workers who were “taking a stand on systemic mistreatment will not be tolerated.”
“We will represent all Unite members fully against efforts by a multimillionaire to silence them,” they added.