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Last Updated: Thursday, 11 August 2005, 06:18 GMT 07:18 UK
Steelworkers win compensation
Furnace at ASW in Cardiff
The steelworkers were made redundant without 90 days' notice
Hundreds of workers who lost their jobs and pensions when a steelmaker went bankrupt have won a fight for compensation.

An employment tribunal has ruled Allied Steel and Wired (ASW) staff unfairly lost 90 days' pay when they were made redundant without any notice.

Their union, Community, said workers from the Cardiff plant would benefit from the pay-out.

ASW's administrators KPMG said the cash would come from the sale of assets.

Community said it had won the legal campaign to gain its members thousands of pounds in compensation.

The union said an employment tribunal has upheld its claim that the workforce was not given a mandatory 90-day consultation period over the job losses in July 2002.

Michael Leahy, Community's general secretary, said: "Our original legal advice was we could not pursue the case but we sought a second opinion, which said that we did have a case.

"After three years, during which time we lost an original tribunal [then] won an appeal, we have finally won compensation on their behalf."

A union spokesman said the judgment was likely to mean "some thousands" for some of its members.

Pension funds

Around 800 workers at ASW in Cardiff lost most of their occupational pensions, as well as their jobs, when the firm collapsed.

A total of 300 workers were also made redundant at ASW's Sheerness plant in Kent. Community has begun a claim for similar compensation for them.

Community, with Amicus, is currently taking legal action against the UK Government on behalf of 1,000 former ASW workers over two pension funds which were left in deficit by ASW's crash.

ASW's administrators, KPMG, said the compensation ruling was against ASW and the money would come from the sale of the company's assets.



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