Second major compensation deal in as many months secured by Usdaw after “unforgivable” failure by employers to give notice of redundancy


Usdaw has secured more than £200,000 compensation for 103 former employees of the iconic Scottish sweets manufacturer McCowan’s who were made redundant when the company folded in October last year.

New McCowan’s Ltd went into administration on 16 September 2011 and production at its factory in Stenhousemuir was immediately stopped and all workers sent home.

Despite efforts to find a buyer, administrators Grant Thornton confirmed in October 2011 that the company had ceased trading and that the factory, which had been producing sweets since the 1920s, was to remain closed.

Usdaw subsequently made a claim on behalf of its members for a Protective Award, arguing McCowan’s had clearly failed in its legal obligation to consult with the union before making its members redundant.

The Tribunal and has awarded compensation of 60 days pay to each of the workers.

Last month Usdaw announced it had won £67.8 million compensation in similar circumstances for more than 24,000 former employees of Woolworths made redundant when the firm collapsed at the end of 2008.

Alan McVie, Usdaw Area Organiser said: “It had become apparent that McCowan’s knew they were in financial difficulty some months before they finally collapsed into administration yet the union and workforce were kept totally in the dark.

“Usdaw may not have been able to help save the company, but McCowan’s failure to consult with us and their workforce was a missed opportunity and in the circumstances quite unforgivable.

“Unfortunately, the majority of our members at McCowan’s have still to find new jobs so they’ll really welcome this compensation and I’m sure appreciate the effort Usdaw has made to secure it for them.”

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