UK: Cleveland Bridge Must Pay 400.000 Pounds to SeaDragon Workers

Unions have won a tribunal case on behalf of workers at Cleveland Bridge who were made redundant following the collapse of the SeaDragon contract on Teesside.

Darlington-based Cleveland Bridge announced 140 jobs losses last year after being compelled to stop work on the offshore contract.

Oil firm SeaDragon Offshore had signed a contract with the Tees Alliance Group (TAG) – which included Cleveland Bridge – to build two semi submersible drilling rigs at the Haverton Hill yard.

The overall contracts were valued at about £500m, of which some £200m-plus would be delivered by the UK companies. The project was scheduled to last three years and would have supported 1,200 new jobs in the North-east. Work started in autumn 2007.

After originally signing a contract with TAG, SeaDragon Offshore, the Cayman Islands-based firm, decided to make the rigs in Singapore. Unions took action against the company over its lack of consultation with workers on the back of the job cuts.

The unions claimed that the workers should have been given 90 days notice, as required by the law, before being made redundant. The settlement is reported to be more than £400,000.

Jimmy Skivington, GMB regional organiser, said the successful tribunal outcome meant some workers would now receive up to £4,500 in compensation.

“A decision was made to take action against Cleveland Bridge because of non-consultation”, he said. This means some members will receive up to £4,500.

The amount members receive will vary – as some staff were re-engaged by the company within 28 days.

“Its a fair decision. Legislation is there to ensure companies consult with workers.”

There was nobody available for comment at Cleveland Bridge today.

The firm has worked on several high-profile projects including Stocktons iconic Infinity Bridge, the A66 Surtees Bridge and the Tinsley Viaduct in Sheffield. It also clinched a £50m contract to supply steel for the M74 extension around Glasgow and a £50m order for steelwork and metal decking on Londons tallest skyscraper.

By Lindsay Bruce, (Gazzetelive)


Source: Hyperdynamics, August 9, 2010: