A group of over 100 Unite the Union members in the West Midlands have been awarded a total of £300,000 in compensation by an employment tribunal after being made redundant when their employer went into administration in 2015.

Unite Legal Services instructed Thompsons Solicitors to act on behalf of 122 Unite members who were dismissed from the manufacturing plant in Darlaston without any notice or prior consultation.

The Tribunal found that the company, Caparo Atlas Fastenings Ltd, had failed to consult with Unite the Union as the recognised trade union acting on the workers’ behalf, ahead of the dismissals.

All Unite members who were based at the site will receive a protective award - an award of compensation based on the employees’ gross pay - for a period of 75 days, with damages totalling £300,000.  

"We are delighted to work with Unite Legal Services to secure this major victory for workers and we hope that this will send a powerful warning to other employers who think they can wilfully ignore trade unions – it is not acceptable and you will not get away with it."

Zafin Aktar
employment law specialist at Thompsons Solicitors

Caroline Crolley, ‎Regional Industrial Officer at Unite the Union in Wolverhampton, said: “It has been a long battle but after two years of tribunal hearings we are finally vindicated in our determination to fight.

“This Employment Tribunal judgment is the latest successful protective award claim we’ve completed with the help of Thompsons Solicitors. This group action proves how important it is for workers to join a union like Unite to collectively fight for their rights.”

Zafin Aktar, employment law specialist at Thompsons Solicitors, said: “The company refused to accept any responsibility for their actions throughout the process but the tribunal ruled that their behaviour was unreasonable.

“Caparo Atlas Fastenings Ltd failed to comply with their obligation to properly consult about the proposal to make mass redundancies. We are delighted to work with Unite Legal Services to secure this major victory for workers and we hope that this will send a powerful warning to other employers who think they can wilfully ignore trade unions – it is not acceptable and you will not get away with it.”