Hundreds of ex-LDV workers owed up to £2,800 each after a union tribunal victory over arrears following the firm’s £75 million collapse have been told they won’t receive a penny.
Solicitors acting for up to 450 claimants say workers have been left “high and dry” for the second time after they were thrown onto the scrapheap in June 2009 when the Washwood Heath van maker crashed.
Ex-shopfloor workers were stunned to receive letters from the Redundancy Payments Office in Birmingham telling them they were not entitled to Protective Award payments despite the tribunal triumph.
Thompsons solicitors in Birmingham is now challenging the decision, which could cost many workers five-figure sums for money owed after the van maker failed to hold a statutory 90-day consultation period with the union.
Solicitor Robert Smith said: “It does not seem fair – this is the first time in my experience of rules being interpreted in this way by the Redundancy Payments Office.
“We are going to challenge this with a complaint to the RPO. Up to 450 people have potentially received this letter.
“We pursued two Protective Award claims over a lack of consultation with the trade unions and, in both cases, these claims were successful. But the RPO have said they have already made some payments for other things.”
Former LDV spot welder Gary Shaw said: “When we were made redundant, we didn’t receive any notice, the only payment we received was redundancy. There is supposed to be a 90-day notice period.
“We should receive eight weeks’ money. A lot of people have already spent the money on the strength that they knew they were going to get it following the tribunal.”
A letter from the Redundancy Payments Office says: “I regret to inform you that this office’s assessment is that you are not entitled to a Protective Award payment.
“This is because you have previously received a payment in respect of outstanding union dues or nursery fees.”