Unite launches legal action against Cheshire printer
By Helen Morris Friday, 05 March 2010
Unite has accused Cheshire print company Port Of Call of a series of breaches of contract and unfair dismissal.
The union said it was making tribunal claims on behalf of three of its members who were employed by the Rexcine Way, Hyde-based company.
According to one former employee, the majority of the company's non-union members are also pursuing claims through the Employment Tribunals Service.
Unite regional officer Nora Ashton said that staff wages had not been paid for the three months from September to November 2009. She added that the claims were now in the hands of solicitors.
It is understood that around 30 staff were made redundant from Port Of Call at the end of last year. Printweek has seen a letter sent to staff on 20 November last year, purportedly from Port Of Call managing director Graham Burns, informing the workers about the redundancies.
James Purnell, MP for Stalybridge and Hyde, who has met with former staff, said: "I am extremely concerned for the staff at Port Of Call and the fact that they haven't been paid, and will do everything in my power to help them."
Companies House records state that Portofcall was incorporated on 30 October 2008, Port Of Call Too was incorporated on 23 April 2009 and POC Print was incorporated on 23 October 2009, all three list Burns as a director and are stated as active.
However, a letter seen by PrintWeek from MB Insolvency, dated 10 December 2009, stated that it was no longer assisting the directors with regards to placing Port Of Call into creditors' voluntary liquidation.
According to Burns: "Port Of Call was destroyed from the inside by some members of staff leaving the company. I have no axe to grind with the staff. Unite can press on with its legal action."
He declined to comment on the specific allegations and the trading status of the three companies.
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