About 550 workers unfairly sacked by Birmingham van-maker Leyland DAF are to get compensation payments of up to £6,000 each – 16 years after the firm went bust.
Unite the union announced it had finally secured an £8.4 million settlement on behalf of workers unfairly dismissed from the Washwood Heath plant and two other factories back in 1993.
A total of 1,400 employees were thrown out of work when Dutch owners Leyland DAF pulled the plug on the Washwood Heath factory and sites in Chorley and Glasgow as debts of £1.1 billion forced the group into receivership.
Now up to 550 former Birmingham-based workers are to get payments of between £5,000 and £6,000 each - with immediate interim payouts of £2,000 per claimant.
The van-making plant - which now operates under the LDV banner - went under in February 1993 and was brought out of receivership in a management buyout led by senior executive Allan Amey two months later.
But only around 1,200 employees from the original workforce of 2,000 were given jobs under the new regime - leaving around 800 out in the cold.
A statement from Unite said: “Unite took up the legal battle on behalf of its members to fight for their claim for unfair dismissal after the truck and van manufacturer went into receivership.
“The union pursued the claims for the members based at Leyland DAF’s three UK sites; Washwood Heath in Birmingham, Chorley in Lancashire and the Albion Works in Glasgow.
“The claims against the company were lengthy and complex in nature owing to the competing claims of creditors across Europe.
“A settlement has been negotiated by Unite together with GMB under which the claims lodged by the unions will produce payments to members of between £5,000 and £6,000.
“The liquidators intend to make an initial part payment of around £2,000 per claimant almost immediately, with the remainder to follow later this year.”
Derek Simpson, joint general secretary of Unite, said: “We are pleased to have secured such a valuable settlement for our members. This is a clear example of Unite not giving up the fight for justice for our members despite the legal obstacles that faced us.
“It was the evidence that Unite gathered that enabled the value of the claims to be calculated and subsequently agreed for the benefit of our members and their families.”