Union success in final Connaught battle

Nearly five years after workers employed by Connaught were made redundant when the company collapsed, former employees have finally been compensated.

This week Dallas McMillan, the firm of solicitors acting for construction union Ucatt, won a protective award for 17 Ucatt members who were previously employed by Connaught at Renfrewshire Council and Riverside Homes.

Housing maintenance contractor Connaught collapsed in September 2010. Since that time Ucatt has been fighting for justice for its members who were affected. Uc att described this week’s ruling as “the final piece in the jigsaw”, concluding the union’s Connaught legal cases.

Earlier this year Dallas McMillan won a case for 12 Ucatt members against Lovell for its failure to confer TUPE rights on workers that it took on when it took over Connaught contracts.

On Monday 1st June an employment tribunal in Glasgow awarded a protective award to the 17 remaining workers for whom Ucatt was unable to take a TUPE-related. The protective award was awarded down to Connaught’s failure to inform and consult the workforce prior to making them redundant. While the protective award was for the maximum 90 days, as the company is in administration and has no assets, the award will be paid by the Redundancy Payments Office and capped at 60 days.

Ucatt regional secretary Harry Frew said: “When Connaught collapsed Ucatt promised our members that we would keep fighting for them until we had won justice. That is exactly what we did. I would like to thank Dallas McMillan for their long hard work on behalf of our members.”

Gordon Bell, a solicitor at Dallas McMillan who represented the affected workers, said: “This was a very long gruelling case but finally we have achieved the right result for workers who were made redundant without warning through absolutely no fault of their own.”