Scargill wins £13,000 union damages
Former miners' leader Arthur Scargill has been awarded £13,000 in damages after he sued a trust fund of the union he led for 20 years.
Mr Scargill, 74, sued the National Union of Mineworkers Yorkshire Area Trust Fund (YATF) over a range of expenses he claimed he was owed when he worked for them in a £26,000-a-year role after he retired as NUM national president.
A judge at Sheffield County Court rejected the former union boss's claim that he should have had his telephone costs reimbursed by the trust. But Judge Robert Moore ruled that Mr Scargill was entitled to a car allowance substantially more than the £50 the trustees eventually offered him.
He awarded him £12,000 in damages. The judge also awarded Mr Scargill a further £1,000 in damages because he was denied membership of the NUM for 10 months during the dispute.
Judge Moore told the court that when the trustees began to question Mr Scargill's contract, "there was a clear agenda both to disown him and to pay him as little as possible".
Mr Scargill's barrister Timothy Pitt-Payne QC said the trust treated his client "in a thoroughly shabby way and in a way that was quite inappropriate, given his long and distinguished career within the union".
The court heard that Mr Scargill took up a role with the trust after he retired from his £70,000 post as national president of the NUM in 2002. Despite two trustees of the fund claiming they did not realise he worked for them, Judge Moore said in his judgment that Mr Scargill's work over the last decade was "meaningful and considerable".
The judge outlined how the former president's expertise was used in relation to the preparation of a range of legal cases. He said these included an aborted attempt to reclaim £8 million from the union's former solicitors, a long-running property dispute relating to union offices in central Sheffield, and former miners' compensation claims regarding the condition vibration white finger.
Speaking outside court, Mr Scargill said: "I'm very pleased that justice has been done.
"I feel it's a sad day that the leadership of the NUM in the Yorkshire area have taken what can only be described as a vindictive action against me after 58 years membership of this union.'"