Belfast Telegraph

Ousted staff at Scotts face loss of all benefits, fear union reps

By Robin Morton

Union representatives protested today over the treatment of the 35 workers who are losing their jobs at Scott Electrotech in Belfast.

David McMurray, regional industrial organiser for Unite, said the employees concerned faced losing out on any redundancy benefits.

Earlier this week, it was confirmed that the jobs of 34 of the 69-strong workforce were being saved as a result of a management buy-out of part of the business.

Administrators were called in to the electrical engineering firm, which was based at Ravenhill Road, on August 24 and attempted to sell the whole business as a going concern.

Mr McMurray said that an hour after arriving on site, the administrators had told the workers that they were out of work.

He said: "The 35 whose jobs have been chopped will not be paid any outstanding money until the creditor's rate has been struck," he said.

"This means the employees lose out on their sickness scheme, pay in lieu of notice, holiday pay and their lying week.

" It could also mean that they are paid only 5p in the pound for the money they are owed."

Mr McMurray said it was a "scandalous situation " and called for new laws to force companies to comply with their obligations.

A spokeswoman for administrators Ernst & Young said that there had not been sufficient time to work through the usual consultation process before announcing the redundancies.

"The administrators are working with the 35 employees who were made redundant to secure their statutory entitlement to arrears of wages, accrued holiday pay, redundancy and compensation for loss of notice.

"If the employees' contractual entitlements are greater than the statutory limits they will be given an opportunity to lodge a claim against the company.

"It is too early to say what the dividend prospects to the creditors will be."

Belfast Telegraph