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Unions plot legal action after Monarch collapse

A union has announced it is launching legal action on behalf of the 1,800 staff who have lost their jobs following the collapse of Monarch Airlines.

Unite, which represents cabin crew and engineers, is going to lodge employment tribunal proceedings over an alleged failure by Monarch to consult staff over the redundancies.
Britain’s fifth-biggest airline has also been accused of failing to give notice or statutory pay.
The pilots union, Balpa, said it was planning action too over “shabby” treatment of its members.
The loss of 1,858 of 2,100 roles was confirmed by administrators on Monday evening – 14 hours after the shock announcement that Monarch had ceased trading with approximately 860,000 customers affected.
Of 110,000 stranded abroad, a charter operation to repatriate them resulted in 119 flights bringing 23,000 passengers home on Monday and Tuesday alone.
It is believed 30% of those affected will have taken a free flight back to the UK by Wednesday night.

Video: Why has Monarch Airlines collapsed?

Unite national officer Oliver Richardson said: “While, understandably, a lot of the focus is on passengers, Unite is determined to ensure that Monarch workers, who worked so hard to try and turn the airline around, are not left high and dry.
“The manner in which Monarch went into administration and the way the Government allowed it to happen means there is a strong claim for compensation by former Monarch workers.”
Under UK law, companies with more than 100 employees must give at least 45 days’ notice of their intention to make people redundant – and Unite says employees with more than two years’ service should receive redundancy pay.

Brian Strutton, the general secretary of Balpa, has described the treatment of Monarch’s pilots as “unbelievably cold hearted”.
The pilots’ union has claimed some of its members were left with a phone bill of almost £40 after being asked to call a premium-rate phone number to join a conference call in which their redundancies were announced.
Monarch’s administrator has since promised to reimburse those affected.
Mr Strutton said: “Not only were they given no warning of this situation but some have had to shell out their own cash to be told they’ve lost their job.”

Video: Holidays ruined by Monarch closure

Administrator KPMG said treatment of staff was one of its “utmost priorities” as it assumed responsibility for Monarch Travel Group and Monarch Airlines at 4.30am on Monday.
It said representatives held a series of meeting with staff aimed at ensuring they receive the compensation they are entitled to.
A spokesperson added: “Since then, the administration and Monarch HR teams have continued to work hard to ensure that all employees receive any information and support they need.
“Additionally, a number of the Monarch HR team have been retained to hold jobs fairs and similar activity over the coming days and weeks to try to get as many people as possible back in to work as soon as possible.”

Source: Sky

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