Tribunal hopes for ex-Connaught staff

Former Connaught workers in Norwich who were sacked when the company plunged into administration could have a case for unfair dismissal, union leaders have said.

When more than 300 people who worked for Connaught Partnerships were made redundant without notice last month construction union UCATT said it would explore whether there was a case for launching action which would lead to industrial tribunals.

Since then UCATT and trade union UNITE have been talking to their legal team and solicitors believe there could be a case for the Exeter-based company to answer.

The unions have been writing to former workers, but today appealed for workers who were members of the unions who have not received letters, to get in touch.

Miles Hubbard, from the union UNITE, said: 'It's possible some could have a case for unfair dismissal. It's with our legal team, which are sharing with UCATT, who are looking into the possibility of having industrial tribunals.


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'We have written to everyone on our list, but some of them joined us 10 or 15 years ago and will have changed their addresses since they first registered.

'What we need is for anyone who was employed by Connaught and was a member of the union, to get in touch with our Norwich office.'

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Administrators KPMG took over the ailing company, which had a �17.5m contract with Norwich City Council to provide social housing repairs and maintenance on Wednesday, September 8 and the following Monday the 300 plus workforce in Norwich were told they had lost their jobs.

Many of the workers marched on City Hall to protest about the loss of their jobs, but hopes of a rescue package which would have seen a company take on the contract on the same terms were dashed when lawyers warned the city council that could lead to a legal challenge from other companies.

Instead the city council is looking for companies to take on interim contracts for nine to 12 months, but in the longer term the permanent contract will need to go out for tender.

In the meantime, some former Connaught workers were taken on by companies who took on emergency contracts.

For former workers who want to get in touch with the unions, the UNITE Norwich office number is 0845 6052196 / email belinda.thorn@unitetheunion.org while UCATT's Eastern region office is on 01638 565830.

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