Ex-dairy workers await news of compensation

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The Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers (USDAW) is hoping that within the next couple of months a tribunal will award thousands of pounds...

The Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers (USDAW) is hoping that within the next couple of months a tribunal will award thousands of pounds of compensation to former Dairy Farmers of Britain (DFB) employees.

A protective award was lodged by the union in August 2009 after it accused administrator PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) of closing the former DFB dairies in June without an appropriate consultation, making hundreds of staff redundant.

If the claim is successful, an employment tribunal has the power to award redundant staff compensation of up to 90 days' pay, as well as unpaid holiday and other benefits that workers might be entitled to receive.

"Although we are still waiting for a hearing date to be confirmed," said John Gorle, USDAW national officer, "we are confident that it will take place towards the latter end of April 2010. We believe that the ruling will come down in favour of our members so that they receive the compensation that they deserve."

USDAW said that it had been lobbying government to put pressure on the receivers to "face up to their legal obligations, especially at this time of economic downturn, when so many companies are facing administration"

A spokesman at PwC said, however: "We are confident we did all we could to consult with staff given the very difficult circumstances presented by the insolvency."