Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/719/14557

From The Socialist newspaper, 23 May 2012

AEI Cables: "Thrown out in disgraceful circumstances"

A worker and trade unionist who was sacked at AEI Cables in Birtley, Tyne and Wear in 2011 sent us this report on what happened last year. He writes as part of the committee of 'Shafted by AEI'. Reports on the appalling sackings were printed in the Socialist at the time.

I am ashamed to admit that I have never been particularly politically active; having been in steady employment for over three decades. I believed that voting Labour every four years was all I needed to do.

However, after being thrown out of work, along with more than 100 colleagues in the most disgraceful circumstances, I feel the need to stand up and be counted. Having come across your paper at the Newcastle May Day rally, I thought you may be interested in our story.

AEI Cables Ltd is an electric cable manufacturer, one of Birtley's major employers. It was established in 1929 and was taken over by Paramount Communications Ltd of India in 2007.

On 26 May 2011, AEI Cables Ltd informed the workforce of their intention to make around 100 redundancies, to claim insolvency and to apply for a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA). Next day without consultation or notice 126 employees, most with well over 30 years' service, were informed, either in person or by letter, that their contract had been terminated by AEI with immediate effect.

The first two employees to go were the GMB union local branch chair and the union branch secretary. The management later congratulated themselves on TV news for having saved the remaining 189 jobs.

In the eight months before this announcement, these union representatives repeatedly asked why temporary workers employed by AEI were being trained on key jobs while full-time employees were doing menial tasks such as sweeping up. No answer was forthcoming.

Each of the 126 workers made redundant was informed that, due to the company's insolvency, no redundancy payment would be made. Instead, redundant employees were advised to apply to the government Insolvency Service. The taxpayer has thus taken on the bill for all these redundancies as well as for the 90 days statutory notice payment these workers received. AEI Cables paid nothing.

Minimum payment

All we redundant workers got was the government-defined minimum. The enhanced redundancy agreements in place at AEI from previous pay and conditions negotiations were no longer applicable.

24 temporary employees were retained at the time of the redundancies. Employees with long service and decades of experience were chosen for redundancy before these workers.

Each person involved appealed against the redundancy and asked what selection criteria had been used. The company refused to consider any appeal, citing the CVA and the need for swift action to save the company, and claiming that the whole process had been carried out in less than 72 hours. But they said, even if correct redundancy procedure had been followed, those same employees would still have been selected.

Local MPs and union leaders have been approached since the redundancies but show reluctance to become involved, or to offer other than minimal help or guidance.

AEI Cables Ltd is still trading, and continues to take on temporary workers, performing tasks previously carried out by the redundant workers. On the local news, a temporary worker was shown being trained to run the machine previously operated by the now redundant GMB union branch chairman.

It seems any company can now terminate the contract of any employees, at any time, without notice or consultation, and without being liable for any redundancy payments - and expect the British taxpayer to fund all such payments. It seems a Company Voluntary Arrangement supersedes British employment law.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 23 May 2012:


Fighting the cuts

Hospital jobs scandal - Action now to save the NHS!

Con-Dems' hypocrisy over children's care

Our education under attack

Council workers in Cheshire strike against attacks on pay


Socialist Party news and analysis

We stand 100% with the Greek workers

Rochdale: far right attempts to exploit tragedy of abuse

Them & Us


International socialist news and analysis

Ireland: 31 May referendum

Eurovision hosts are top of the charts for repression


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Back to work? How the system fails the unemployed

Mullivaikal 2012 - Solidarity with the Tamil people

Lincolnshire academies in crisis

Profit hungry 'Big Oil' backs climate change deniers

The housing crisis - action needed now

Youth Fight for Jobs Northern Ireland launched in Belfast

Building the electoral alternative in Brent

Stockland Green march for jobs

More attacks on right to campaign


Socialist Party workplace news

Interview with RMT assistant general secretary candidate

AEI Cables: "Thrown out in disgraceful circumstances"

Leadership shows weakness at CWU conference

Workplace news in brief

National Shop Stewards Network


 

Home   |   The Socialist 23 May 2012   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   PDF  




Related links:

Tyne and Wear:

triangleBattle for Wallsend walk-in NHS service

triangleSocialism 2016: Putting socialism on the agenda

triangleFight now on to save disabled respite centre

triangleFighting Fund target smashed!

triangleTyne and Wear TUSC organising meeting

Union:

triangleRoyal Mail bosses block strike - back postal workers

triangleConference on state spies: who's watching who?

trianglePowerful picture of the Port Talbot steel workers' struggle

triangleNorth London hospital workers fight cuts and job losses

Redundancies:

triangleNationalise to save jobs at BAE Systems

triangleThree week Argos strike ends

triangleStudent occupation at Chelsea College of Arts

GMB:

triangleGig economy exploiter Uber loses London licence

triangleEscalate summer strike wave into coordinated action to defeat the pay cap

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

19/10/17

North West

Arriva North West bus drivers strike over pay

18/10/17

Democratic rights

Conference on state spies: who's watching who?

18/10/17

Leeds

Striking back against sackers' charter at Leeds Uni

18/10/17

Royal Mail

Royal Mail bosses block strike - back postal workers

18/10/17

PCS

Balloting members on the pay cap

18/10/17

Art

'Dazzling' Bad Art show points to socialist future

18/10/17

Council

Sheffield Labour council threatens peaceful protesters with prison

18/10/17

South West Wales

Hundreds turn out for rally aimed at removing west Wales Tory MP

18/10/17

NHS

Uprising to save the NHS!

18/10/17

Socialism

Can you donate to the Socialism 2017 appeal?

18/10/17

East London

No cuts - hands off King George A&E!

18/10/17

North London

North London hospital workers fight cuts and job losses

18/10/17

BAE

Nationalise to save jobs at BAE Systems

18/10/17

Schools

Schools "can't go any further" - stop the cuts: set deficit budgets now

18/10/17

Swansea

Socialist Students 'welcome' Hillary Clinton to Swansea

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

triangle19 Oct Arriva North West bus drivers strike over pay

triangle18 Oct Russia, October 1917: When workers took power

triangle18 Oct Tories torn - bin them now

triangle18 Oct Royal Mail bosses block strike - back postal workers

triangle18 Oct Balloting members on the pay cap

triangle13 Oct The end of the Tories?

triangle11 Oct Nasty party imploding...drive out the Tories

More ...

triangle23 Oct Chesterfield Socialist Party: The continuing struggle for abortion rights

triangle24 Oct Liverpool Socialist Party: The October Russian Revolution 100 years ago to the day

triangle25 Oct Salford Socialist Party: The October 1917 Russian revolution

triangle25 Oct Swansea Socialist Party: Mother Jones - A US labour pioneer

More ...

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Archive

Archives:

October 2017

September 2017

August 2017

July 2017

June 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999

Legal

SP RSS feed RSS

Platform setting: = No platform choice

V2