Monday, July 13, 2009

Sacked Kosovans spur union into action

Foreign workers dumped by contractors during the downturn are being urged to join the union after Ucatt won a ВЈ46,000 payout for six Kosovans sacked by FM Conway.

The team of London paviors was awarded the cash last week after an employment tribunal upheld their claim for unfair dismissal.

The Kosovans turned to the union for help in their fight and were backed by local regional official Mick Dooley.

A union source said: "This was a clear case of unfair dismissal and it only really reached a tribunal because of the leg-work Mick put in.

"Most of the time employers think they can just get rid of workers for whatever reason. That’s not the case and we’re saying that Ucatt is here to help workers who think they have been victimised."


Sacked Kosovans spur union into action


The tribunal heard how the Kosovan workers were sacked last year from Conway’s £5m-a-year highways maintenance contract in Islington.

The workers said they were dismissed after refusing to be paid per metre of pavement they laid rather than on their previous hourly basis.

Conway said they were sacked because they were inefficient and had been rude and aggressive towards site supervisors.

The tribunal ruling stated: "We conclude that there was an inadequate investigation of the central part of Conway’s case, namely an insufficient scrutiny of the allegations of poor performance."

The tribunal cut some of the payments to the six men by up to 50% because "serious insubordination contributed by their actions to their dismissal."

Steve Cottingham a partner at solicitors OH Parsons, who represented the workers at the employment tribunal, said: "This was a very important case and I am pleased that the tribunal rightly found in favour of the workers involved. Vulnerable workers have the same rights as anyone else in the workplace and companies must learn that they cannot get away with mistreating them."