Engineering firm ordered to pay £420,000 in compensation to workers after losing appeal

A South Yorkshire electrical firm has been ordered to pay £420,000 to 56 workers after losing its appeal at an employment appeal tribunal in London.

Fifty six workers at Kostal UK were granted £420, 000 by a Sheffield employment tribunal in February after the firm was found to have made ‘unlawful inducements’ by urging them to sign a new contract behind the Unite union’s back.

The London employment appeal tribunal judgement yesterday upheld the earlier ruling.

Union Unite says the claims arose after the company, based near Rotherham, wrote to employees in December 2015 urging them to accept a pay offer and to change their terms of employment or risk losing a Christmas bonus if they did not.

Unite said the offer was then repeated to those that did not accept it in January 2016.

Unite assistant general secretary for legal services Howard Becket said: “This employment appeal tribunal ruling sends a strong message to bosses who attempt to bust unions and undermine collective bargaining for pay and terms and conditions.

“Not only is the case worth over £420,000 to the Unite members involved, but it sets a binding legal precedent that employers cannot dip in and out of collective bargaining when it suits their purposes.

“The right for a union to bargain collectively goes to the heart of trade union recognition and is why trade union members on average enjoy higher wages and more paid holidays than workers who aren’t a member of a union.”

 

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