Ex-SSI steelworkers awarded share of £6.25m over lack of consultation on closure
Former SSI steelworkers have been awarded a share of £6.25 million over lack of consultation when their plant in Redcar closed.
The Community union took action on behalf of more than 1,100 of its members who lost their jobs when the site closed last year.
Workers who were part of Community's claim will now receive up to eight weeks' pay from the Government's Redundancy Payments Office.
The union said the headline figure would have been over £14 million but because SSI is bankrupt, workers will only get the share that the Government pays.
Roy Rickhuss, general secretary of Community, said: "This is a deserved victory for our SSI members and it is only right and proper that the tribunal found in our favour because of the way these workers were treated.
"As the lead union in the claim, the diligent preparation and hard work of our team of staff and lawyers has been rewarded today and our members will get what they are entitled to.
"However, as we have said before, this small victory will not compensate for the devastation from the end of steel-making.
"Today's judgment is not an end, just a moment of welcome good news. In the coming days we will be supporting our members to access their share of the claim. Beyond that, our work continues to secure a better future for the steel community on Teesside."
Tom Blenkinsop, Labour MP for Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland, praised the union's campaigning.
"In the scale of things it is, of course, a small victory, as steel-making will not return," he said.
"But without Community's efforts on behalf of its members, and on behalf of other union members, the legal entitlements of these workers would never have been obtained.
"It is a sorry state that a union had to push this through by legal means as it shows, yet again, the Government have nowhere near coughed up the money they said they would give."
Anna Turley, Labour MP for Redcar, said: "Today's ruling is a victory for former SSI workers who have repeatedly been treated unfairly by the Government.
"The closure of SSI is testament to this Government's total and abject failure. Over 3,000 people lost their jobs and their livelihoods immediately, including jobs in supply chain businesses. The knock-on effect for other small enterprises, such as childminders and decorators, is even harder to quantify. Many ex-workers are still waiting for training courses or are applying for jobs.
"The reparations that have been awarded, whilst welcome, will do nothing to replace the steelworks and the damage to the wider community following the closure of SSI."