Carlisle's Stead McAlpin workers win compensation payouts
December 2009: 62 workers who were dismissed with just 10 minutes warning when a Carlisle textile firm collapsed have won their battle for compensation. Representing the members of Unite the Union, Hough Halton & Soal Solicitors supported the employees on their crusade for justice.
62 members of the Stead McAlpin workforce were made redundant when the firm slumped into administration in April. The embittered group and Unite the Union have fought an eight-month crusade for justice which ended in success when an Employment Tribunal ruled they were unfairly dismissed and are entitled to compensation.
Judge John Morris, found they were all unfairly dismissed and are entitled to compensation. He also ruled that Steads' owner at the time, Apex Textiles, failed to consult unions over the redundancies and awarded the workers a "protective award" of 90 days pay. They will be paid out of the collapsed company's insolvency fund.
Individual compensation claims will be calculated based on factors including length of service.
Alan McGuckin, regional officer of Unite the Union, said: "This is a clear decision that the loyal workers at Stead McAlpin were treated appallingly. We are pleased that the decision has been made before Christmas so some of the worries of many members have been alleviated.
As a union we are proud that we will not allow rogue employers to trample on the rights of our members. These workers were betrayed by John Lewis and then treated appallingly by Apex, a fly-by-night company that John Lewis should never have sold the business to."
Stead McAlpin has since been sold to Lancashire entrepreneur Chris Soper and continues to trade.