Company under fire over redundancy payments

Published date: 25 April 2014 |
Published by: Staff Reporter
Read more articles by Staff Reporter


A UNION official has claimed a company seeking to cut its workforce is going back on an agreement over redundancy payments.

The Dobson & Crowther factory in Llangollen, which produces envelopes and has been based in the town for 65 years, announced it was cutting its workforce by a third in February – a move that would see almost 30 staff position being axed.

Unite representative Tony Brady said the union had an agreement in place with Dobson & Crowther that any staff being made redundant would receive enhanced redundancy payments equivalent to two-and-a-half weeks pay for every continuous year worked with the company.

But he claimed Dobson & Crowther, in an effort to save money, is looking to make statutory redundancy payments only – equivalent to one week’s pay for every year worked.

“There is an agreement in place with us over the terms of redundancy which has been honoured in the past,” Mr Brady said.

“Under it, workers being made redundant would receive an enhanced redundancy package.

“But the company has lost a big contract and now they might not even receive statutory payments.

“We were informed in February Dobson & Crowther were looking to cut 29 jobs, but no one has been made redundant yet, so we cannot do anything.”
He said if the company went back on the agreement, the union would not hesitate in attempting to take legal action against the firm.

“There is a big difference between enhanced redundancy, as opposed to statutory,” he added.

“We’ve written to the company but not heard back from them since February.”

The company is set to move into a new printworks later this year to make way for a Sainsbury’s supermarket on its current site off Berwyn Street. The supermarket giant is financing a new factory for Dobson & Crowther across the road.

The company’s managing director, Paul Holden, said: “We are going through a very private and confidential process at the moment and have nothing further to add to our statement from February.”

In the February statement Mr Holden said the company had lost a substantial contract  and would notify the union as soon as it was in a position to table formal proposals.

“We intend to consult the union and other employee representatives in the proper manner in accordance with our legal obligations,” he said at the time. “In spite of the lost contract, effective from April 2014, the underlying business is robust and remains strong enough to support the majority of our workforce.”

Mr Holden said in February it was hoped “with the support and co-operation of the union and the workforce as a whole we will secure the future of the Dobson & Crowther business in Llangollen”.

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